Study on Legal Problems of Renters (UK)

There is a new study from the UK entitled: “Understanding the Legal Problems of Renters”.  This report by Pascoe Pleasence, Nigel Balmer and Catrina Devnir is available here: . It is part of a broader study on “How People Understand and Interact with the Law”.

The webpage highlights the following key findings of the study:

  • The latest figures show that over a third of all households in England and Wales were rented, which makes the ability of renters to resolve housing-related legal problems a major issue for society.
  • Few renters realized that their housing difficulty was a legal problem, nearly half (47 per cent) put it down to bad luck.
  • The renters most likely to experience housing-related legal problems are the young, single parents, and unmarried couples with children.
  • Legal problems with rented housing take a long time to resolve: half lasted more than a year; a quarter were still unresolved after two years.
  • Renters are more likely than those living in other types of accommodation to have higher levels of non-housing-related legal problems – such as with domestic violence, divorce, welfare benefits and personal injury.
  • Those renting privately (rather than in the public sector) were the most likely to have non-housing-related legal problems; the least likely were those who owned their homes outright.

It is noted on the webpage that “people living in rented accommodation are twice as likely to experience some kinds of non-housing-related legal problems as those living in other types of housing”.

Additional research and reports by the Legal Education Foundation are available here:

New report from the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family: “Access to Legal Services in Women’s Shelters”

Access to Legal Services in Women’s Shelters examines access to legal services among clients of women’s domestic violence shelters. The study samples the views of staff and clients at three domestic violence shelters with the goals of improving understanding of clients’ legal service needs, understanding the challenges clients attempting to access legal services encounter and making recommendations for improvement.

The authors, Alysia Wright, Coordinator of Alberta-based Research Projects at The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family and Lorne Bertrand PhD, Senior Research Associate at The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family conclude that clients’ service needs are complex and often involve legal problems, yet shelters face specific organizational barriers to coordinating legal services. The authors recommend that a further Alberta-wide study be undertaken to examine the legal access patterns of women experiencing domestic violence, to assess the prevalence of the barriers identified in the study and to determine whether further barriers are present in other shelters.

The report is available for download in PDF format from the publications page of The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family website:

Access to Justice Research Report on Intimate Partner Violence in Family and Criminal Cases

Dr. Margaret Jackson, Director of the FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, and The Honourable Donna J. Martinson, Q.C., LL.M., have released an access to justice report entitled: Risk of Future Harm: Family Violence and Information Sharing Between Family and Criminal Courts.

This report is grounded in their exploratory, qualitative study that deals with both family law and criminal law cases in which intimate partner violence (family violence) is an issue. The research focused primarily on violence against women and children.

Read the final report by The Honourable Donna Martinson, Q.C. and Dr. Margaret Jackson here:

Dr. Jackson and The Honourable Donna Martinson presented their research at B.C.’s Fifth Justice Summit (held in November 2015). The Report on the Fifth Summit will be released soon. The report on the Fourth Summit, entitled Better Responses to Violence against Women, is available here:

Introducing the Forum québécois sur l’accès à la justice civile et familiale

The newly launched Forum québécois sur l’accès à la justice civile et familiale was created in the wake of the publication of Supreme Court Justice of Canada, Thomas Cromwell’s, and the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters’ report:

The Forum is comprised of some twenty justice stakeholders and is presided over by Quebec’s Chief Justice, Élizabeth Corte. Together the members of the Forum are taking concrete steps to improve access to justice in civil and family matters. Visit the Forum québécois sur l’accès à la justice civile et familiale website here: and read about the Forum’s structure, mandate, background and guiding principles from their Terms of Reference document (available in English).


Le Forum québécois sur l’accès à la justice civile et familiale a été créé dans la foulée de la publication du rapport du juge Thomas Cromwell de la Cour suprême du Canada sur l’accès à la justice en matière civile et familiale:

Le Forum est composé d’une vingtaine d’acteurs du milieu de la justice et il est présidé par Élizabeth Corte, juge en chef de la Cour du Québec. Ensemble, les membres du Forum définissent des actions concrètes pour améliorer l’accès à la justice en matière civile et

Pour plus d’information:

Access to Justice: Personal Reflections

The Honourable Warren K. Winkler, O.Ont., Q.C., B.A., LL.B, LL.M., LL.D. (Hon.), the former Chief Justice of Ontario, is recognized as one of Canada’s leading mediators. He recently gave a speech at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law on several key A2J issues. The speech was entitled, “”Access to Justice: Personal Reflections” and can be viewed online here: and is available in pdf format here: