A new report from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences urges making access to civil justice a priority and offers recommendations to close the civil justice gap. The report, which was launched on 24 September 2020, is part of an extensive, multi-year project to examine the extent and consequences of the inability of Americans to access legal help for civil justice matters.
The newly published Civil Justice for All report offers seven recommendations:
- Significant financial and human resources investments to close the civil justice gap
- More lawyers who work to address the needs of low-income earners
- More lawyers who offer pro bono and other volunteer assistance
- Open legal marketplaces to allow non-lawyers to help resolve civil justice problems
- More collaboration between legal service providers and professionals in other sectors to address the non-legal dimensions of problems
- Make legal processes, legal information, forms and other resources easier for the public to understand and access
- Create a central body to coordinate and promote the recommendations above and to gather much-needed civil justice data
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront many of the weaknesses in American civil society. It has also brought new challenges and worsened the civil justice gap. A major initiative to ensure access to civil justice is urgently needed to help address this growing problem.
Civil Justice for All: A Report and Recommendations from the Making Justice Accessible Initiative is available online here: https://www.amacad.org/publication/civil-justice-for-all.