The Federation of Law Societies of Canada (Federation) is pleased to announce a $250,000 contribution to a fund established in honour of former Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin (Fund). The Fund will be used to issue grants to worthy causes or projects that could have a tangible effect on alleviating the access to justice crisis in Canada.
The central objective of the Fund will be to financially support innovative projects and programs to improve access to civil and family justice. Former Federation President Sheila M. MacPherson is a founding member of the Fund’s Governing Council.
“Access to justice is a central theme that preoccupies all stakeholders in the justice system, and taking steps to address it is a strategic priority for all of the Federation’s member law societies” Federation President Ross Earnshaw said.
“The Federation has contributed to worthy access to justice related initiatives in the past, including the funding of research carried out by the National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, and financing the start-up costs of a pilot project for an online dispute resolution platform in Nova Scotia” the Federation President added.
The $250,000 donation from the Federation originates with the members of the legal profession, as well as the provincial and federal judiciary who have attended the Federation’s long-standing national legal education programs. The contribution comes from reserves of the National Criminal Law Program and the National Family Law Program, the leading professional development programs in Canada for lawyers and judges in the areas of criminal and family law.
The Federation is the national coordinating body of Canada’s 14 law societies, which are mandated by provincial and territorial statutes to regulate the country’s 125,000 lawyers, Quebec’s 3,800 notaries and Ontario’s 10,500 licensed paralegals in the public interest. The Federation also speaks out on issues critical to safeguarding the public’s right to an independent legal profession, the protection of solicitor-client privilege and other issues relating to the administration of justice and the rule of law.
The news release about The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin Access to Justice Fund is available here.
Please also consult our full Media Release.