Access to Justice

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Legal Ethics, Access to Justice, Canada, Access to Civil and Family Justice, Low Bono


There is mounting evidence that access to justice in Canada is approaching a crisis point. An estimated 3.8 million Canadians per year experience at least one legal problem - but many of these people are unable to resolve their problems fairly, effectively or affordably. According to the World Justice Project's Rule of Law Index, Canada ranks among the top ten countries globally on aggregate legal system indicators such as fundamental rights, open government, and order and security. But Canada ranks a distant forty-eighth based on the public's ability to access and afford civil justice. The most recent data from national legal needs surveys in Canada confirm the extent of the crisis, and reveal Canadians' widespread dissatisfaction with the options available to address their justice problems.