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Access to Justice: Report on Selected Reform Initiatives in Canada

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Title: Access to Justice: Report on Selected Reform Initiatives in Canada
País: Canadá
Idioma: English
Fuente: Fuente: http://cfcj-fcjc.orgFuente: http://cfcj-fcjc.org
Reseña: When the Sub-committee on Access to Justice (Trial Courts) first met we confirmed that we are concerned with access to justice, and in particular with mounting costs in the justice system. While Subcommittee members are aware of important initiatives designed to respond to the issue of costs at the trial level, it was felt that it would be helpful to know more about what is happening across the country so that we can identify promising practices to reduce costs. To that end we agreed that the starting point for the work of the Subcommittee is to develop a focused inventory of reforms which are designed to promote effective and affordable justice.The Subcommittee requested that the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (the Forum) conduct research to develop an inventory of Canadian civil justice reform initiatives in selected subject areas. These areas were selected by the Subcommittee members, who considered an outline of procedures that are promising in promoting effective and affordable justice.1 Each member submitted his or her choices from this list of possible options. Substantial agreement was found on five areas which have formed the focus of the research and are now captured in the inventory:• proportionality• experts• point-of-entry assistance• discovery• caseflow managementOnce the five areas of focus were selected, research was conducted on the current and proposed rules of civil procedure in each Canadian province and territory, as well as the Federal Court and Tax Court. The 1996 Report of the Canadian Bar Association Task Force on Systems of Civil Justice2 and the Forum’s 2006 Into the Future Report3 were used as a reference points in identifying proposed directions for reform on a national basis. Research involved analysis of court rules, reform proposals and evaluation reports, as well as contact with individuals in the justice system.As a first step, the Minister of Justice, the chief justices and the Barreau du Québec established in February 2002 a committee to identify indicators that would provide an effective assessment of the new rules three years after their implementation.Assessment report under the Act to reform the Code of Civil Procedure (2002, c. 7)The assessment report tabled by the Minister examines a number of issues:- Maintaining the 180-day peremptory time limit for case readiness;- The implementation of case management mechanisms introduced or generated by the reform, including the parties' agreement on a case management timetable;- Examinations for discovery and expert evidence as frequent impediments to the progress of a proceeding;- Encouraging oral contestation;- Amicable settlement conferences at trial and in the appeal;- Appeal procedure;- Other procedural reforms including the principle of proportionality, the use of new technologies, small claims and class actions.The report sets out recommendations on all these issues on which public consultations will be held by a committee of the National Assembly.


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