On January 31st, the World Justice Project (WJP) released its latest Rule of Law Index Report. This report is an annual publication that includes rule of law assessments of countries based on their level of adherence to 44 indicators grouped into the following 8 categories:
- Constraints on Government Powers
- Absence of Corruption
- Open Government
- Fundamental Rights
- Order and Security
- Regulatory Enforcement
- Civil Justice
- Criminal Justice
Countries are also evaluated on their adherence to a ninth factor – informal justice—that is not included in the aggregate scores. This year’s report includes assessments for 113 countries. The scores and rankings are based on data gathered from two sources: a General Population Poll (GPP) that is disseminated in the 3 largest cities of each country included in the ranking and, a Qualified Respondents’ Questionnaire (QRQ) that gathers responses from in-country experts in civil and commercial law, criminal justice, labor law and public health.
The 2017-2018 Rule of Law Index is available online here: https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/WJP_ROLI_2017-18_Online-Edition.pdf.
Previous Rule of Law Index publications can be accessed on the WJP website here: https://worldjusticeproject.org/our-work/wjp-rule-law-index/previous-editions-wjp-rule-law-index.
The World Justice Project (WJP) has published its first-ever Global Insights on Access to Justice: Findings from the World Justice Project General Population Poll in 45 Countries report. The report is based on data gathered from an access to civil justice survey conducted with over 1,000 respondents in the 3 largest cities of the 45 countries included in the report. The survey questions were based on the following 11 themes:
- Types of legal problems experienced in the last two years
- Problem seriousness
- Sources of (professional and informal) help and advice
- Residual problem resolving behavior, such as attempts to learn more about the legal issue
- Reasons for advice not being obtained.
- Resolution process, through formal and informal means
- Fact and manner of conclusion
- Perceptions of the quality of the process and outcome
- Cost of problem resolution
- Legal capability, awareness, and confidence
- Impact of experiencing a legal problem
The report is organized by country with data presented according to the paths that respondents followed to deal with their everyday legal problems, with an emphasis on:
- Incidence of Legal Problems
- Action or Inaction
- Status of Legal Problems
- Process, Perceptions & Legal Capability
The Global Insights WJP report, international poll, methodology paper and summary statistics report can all be accessed here: https://worldjusticeproject.org/news/global-insights-access-justice.
A new Global Insights report by the World Justice Project (WJP) indicates that 1 in 3 people (31%) who experience legal problems in the United Kingdom experience stress or physical health problems as a result. The Access to Justice survey that was conducted for this report also found that:
- 1 in 10 people in the UK who experience a legal problem within a 2-year period also experience a relationship breakdown as a result of their legal problem.
- Almost 1 in 5 (18%) lost their job, faced financial strain or experienced housing issues because of legal problems they experienced within the reference period of the survey.
Trouble with neighbours was the most commonly experienced legal problem type reported by respondents in the UK survey with 1 in 5 (20%) experiencing this problem. Other common legal problems include:
- Accessing benefits or care
- Problems with Landlords
- Debt-related problems, including paying credit cards, utility bills or loans
- Harassment at work
This article provides an overview of the survey results for the UK and discusses the findings in the context of other recent reports as well as budget cuts to the UK’s Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders (Laspo) Act in recent years: https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2018/jan/29/one-in-three-people-with-legal-problems-in-uk-develop-health-issues-report.
For more on physical and mental health problems related to everyday legal problems in Canada, see the recent Canadian Forum on Civil Justice report published here.
The “Supporting Law Students to Serve the Public” Law Foundation of Ontario 2016 report is now available online. The “Supporting Law Students to Serve the Public” report highlights the Foundation’s ongoing support of legal education through grants to law schools and as a main funder of Pro Bono Students Canada. To learn more about the ways that the Law Foundation of Ontario is promoting diversity in the legal profession, responding to access to justice needs and advancing access to justice, read their recently published report here: http://www.lawfoundation.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/LFO-2016-annual-report.pdf.
<< Aider les étudiants en droit à servir le public >> rapport annuel 2016 de la Fondation du droit de l’Ontario est disponible en français ici: www.lawfoundation.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/FDO-Rapport-annuel-2016.pdf.
The Saskatchewan Access to justice Working Group regularly publishes bulletins that include links to recent access to justice news, publications and events taking place in Saskatchewan and across Canada. To view their latest bulletin, click here. Archived bulletins are available here.
Researchers at the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) have published three new Cost of Justice reports that explore some of the frequently overlooked consequences of experiencing serious civil and family justice problems in Canada. Beyond the out-of-pocket monetary costs of everyday legal problems, millions of Canadians experience physical and mental health problems, loss of employment and a loss of housing as a direct consequence of the legal problem(s) that they face. In addition, based on findings from the CFCJ’s national Cost of Justice in Canada survey, Canadians also reported that they access government-mandated social assistance as a result of one or more serious civil or family justice problems that they experienced. To read the latest CFCJ Cost of Justice reports, click on the hyperlinked titles below:
The Honourable Thomas Cromwell’s The Lawyer’s Daily columns explore topical issues related to access to civil and family justice in Canada. His latest column features an interview with Professor Katie Sykes of Thompson Rivers University’s Faculty of Law about a course that Professor Sykes created and teaches on “Designing Legal Expert Systems”. This course, like several others being offered at law schools across Canada, are fostering innovation among law students and engaging them to identify creative solutions to justice system challenges. “Access to Justice: Katie Sykes on Designing Legal Expert Systems” is published on The Lawyer’s Daily website here and can also be accessed online here.
The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF) recently published two new papers:
The Development of Parenting Coordination and an Examination of Policies and Practices in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta was prepared by Dr. Lorne Bertrand and John-Paul Boyd and reviews the development of parenting coordination in the United States and its adoption in Canada. This paper also explores the findings of the research available to date on parenting coordination, its efficacy in resolving parenting disputes, its efficacy in steering such disputes out of court and its impact on parental conflict. The Development of Parenting Coordination and an Examination of Policies and Practices in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta discusses the practice of parenting coordination in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, compares processes and training standards in those provinces, and makes recommendations for the practice of parenting coordination in Alberta, and in Canada generally.
Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward, Results from the Survey of Symposium Participants was prepared by Joanne Paetsch, Dr. Lorne Bertrand and John-Paul Boyd and is the first written output from the “Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward” two-day symposium presented by the CRILF and the Alberta Office of the Child and Youth Advocate. The symposium offered a unique opportunity to survey an informed and involved pool of participants regarding their perceptions and experiences with children’s participation in justice processes. This report presents the final results of this survey of symposium participants, and includes recommendations for moving forward.
Both publications are available on the CRILF website here: http://www.crilf.ca/publications.htm
The details in this post were taken from information circulated by the CRILF.
The most recent volume of the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice includes a collection of scholarly articles on the theme of: “Innovation and Access to Justice: Addressing the Challenge of a Diverse Justice Ecosystem”. This special issue was edited by the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution’s academic co-directors, Nicole Aylwin and Martha Simmons and is available for free online here: https://ojs.uwindsor.ca/ojs/leddy/index.php/WYAJ/index.