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Making Justice Work — report on legal aid and justice system reform

In February 2012, the Province announced an initiative to address challenges facing British Columbia’s justice system and to identify actions to give British Columbians more timely and effective justice services.

As part of this initiative, the Attorney General asked the Legal Services Society for advice on reforms to legal aid and to the larger justice system that could reduce costs so that savings can be reallocated to legal aid.

LSS’ report, Making Justice Work: Improving Access and Outcomes for British Columbians, is now available on the LSS website.

The report outlines LSS’ vision for a justice system that focuses on outcomes that benefit all justice system stakeholders and users. The proposals include:

  • expansion of criminal and family duty counsel;
  • greater use of problem-solving courts such as domestic violence courts;
  • more community-based advice services coupled with assistance for related, non-family legal problems; and
  • increased service for Aboriginal peoples.

In preparing our recommendations, LSS consulted with LSS local agents, family duty counsel, the criminal and family tariff advisory committees, other Canadian legal aid plans, and numerous BC lawyers.

Please have a look at LSS’ advice to the Attorney General, as it is the most recent documentation of the direction LSS is headed.

— Mark Benton, QC, Executive Director, Legal Services Society

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