Attorney General Takes Action to Improve Access to Justice

Archived Release

Attorney General Takes Action to Improve Access to Justice

Ministry of the Attorney General

Legal Aid Review And New Protocol Will Strengthen Access To Justice And Effective Use Of Public Funds TORONTO, Nov. 5 - The McGuinty government is expanding ongoing actions to improve access to justice in Ontario, Attorney General Chris Bentley said. "Strengthening and improving Ontario's legal aid system is a key priority for our government," said Bentley. Bentley announced that he is accelerating the development of a new protocol between the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Aid Ontario. This work started immediately after comments made by Superior Court Justice Bryan Shaughnessy on June 14, 2007, in relation to R. v. Wills. The protocol will ensure that public funds for legal aid are spent effectively in those rare criminal cases where the ministry is ordered to pay for defense counsel. Bentley will work with John McCamus, the Chair of Legal Aid Ontario, and seek input from the criminal defense bar on the formalized protocol. In addition, Bentley will meet with Professor Michael Trebilcock who is leading a review of the legal aid system in Ontario. "I look forward to Professor Trebilcock's recommendations as we work to strengthen legal aid in Ontario," said Bentley. "Access to justice for those who need it most must rest upon a strong foundation ensuring the effective use of public resources, with appropriate checks and balances in place." The Legal Aid Review was announced in September 2006, and is expected to be completed at the end of February 2008. Disponible en français www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca Contact Info For further information: Sheamus Murphy, Ministry of the Attorney General, Minister's Office, (416) 518-1322; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Sheamus Murphy, Ministry of the Attorney General, Minister's Office, (416) 518-1322; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210