Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

G. Loomer


This thesis is an exploration of access to justice issues in the Canadian tax system. Drawing on the work of Roderick Macdonald, it argues for a broad conception of access to justice based on the empowerment of individuals in all of the sites, processes, institutions where law is made, administered, and applied. It argues that tax law shows the usefulness of this comprehensive approach to access to justice. Using the comprehensive approach to access to justice, the thesis goes on to argue that legal complexity should be seen as an important access to justice issue in tax law. It lays out a pragmatic, access to justice-oriented framework for talking about complexity in tax law. Applying this framework, it examines the sources of complexity in Canadian tax law and suggests a path toward simplification. The final chapters of the thesis contain examples of the type of access to justice-oriented research and advocacy that these frameworks facilitate.