Federal Working Group Recommends Expanding Paralegal Role in Family Law

Four reports from working groups chaired by Justice Thomas Cromwell were officially released this morning.

These are from the Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, an initiative that started with the Chief Justice’s challenge to the Canadian Bar Association last summer.

The committee’s objectives were to help stakeholders “to develop consensus priorities for civil and family justice reform and to encourage all of the participants in the system to work together in a cooperative and collaborative way with the ultimate goal of implementing reforms in the public interest.”

Jerry McHale chaired the Family Law Working Group. He says “It is time to move beyond wise words to concrete action.”

Recommendation 17:
That jurisdictions expand reliance upon properly trained and supervised paralegals, law students, articling students, and non-lawyer experts to provide a range of services to families with legal problems.

Online legal magazine SLAW has a link to a PDF version of the report at its website.

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