Access to justice
In Canada, we rely on an independent and impartial judicial system, free from outside influences and dictates. However, it would not be an ideal system if Canada's citizens did not have easy access to it. The Council works on an ongoing basis to promote this access.
The Council works hard to ensure that citizens have access to an accessible, efficient and timely judicial system. The trust of Canadians is essential to the proper functioning of our justice system. Unfortunately, several factors can undermine public trust, and that is what we are continually addressing.
There are three reasons why access to the Canadian judicial system is more difficult than we would like:
- Cumbersome regulations and procedures can delay the process.
- The high cost of the procedures prevents citizens from taking advantage of them.
- Mistrust or fear of the authority may keep some people away.
We have everything to gain by improving access to our justice system. What use would a justice system be to us if it were only accessible to the wealthiest people? While Canadians' confidence in their judicial system is not unfailing, many individuals might come to despise the law and everyone would lose.
However, the Council's mission is complex. Our work extends well beyond the scope of reducing the costs of the judicial process once it has begun. And we can't overlook access to information, legal training and the creation of preventive programs. The better our judges and lawyers are trained, the closer they are to people, the more respect they will command for their work, and therefore for the law.