Legal Aid A Right or Privilege – Part One Commentary

I bumped into this video recently that seemed to revolve around the debate on whether or not legal aid services should be aright or privilege here in Canada. It was conducted by a group called the Lawyers Rights Watch Canada. Rather than me explaining here is the video:

From what I gathered, it is essentially trying to describe how legal aid is more readily available in other countries and that there are examples where the lack of legal aid here has created scenarios such as the acceptance rate of cases have been significantly lower. I guess another way to put it is that a self-represented litigant doesn’t have the legal knowledge to form a case to the satisfaction of the court.

Like in those examples many would say because they don’t have the funds to retain a lawyer they are essentially out of luck and that something needs to be changed to make sure that people always have access to legal aid. Like one of my previous comments before though, I believe other items need to be fixed first before you can start talking about legal aid.

For example, why is the procedure so complex that a person can’t self-represent themselves properly in a fair manner to begin with? Can you imagine if we said everyone has a right to vote and the system to do so requires you to properly input complex technical codes for it to register properly? If you can’t do it on your own then you could say hire a computer technician for $250/hr.

Like here, debating about how people should have the right to access a computer technician might be valid in some ways. However, I think everyone would agree that the system shouldn’t be that complex to begin with where someone can’t easily do it themselves. With the voting example, it makes more sense to focus in having the technicians design a system that anyone can easily use and understand.

In this video so far, I think the same should be true where lawyers or judges should focus more in an effort to design a system that is meant for everyday people. There is still more to the video, so part two coming later.

Leave a Reply