Peer Review in Canada: Results from a Promising Experiment

Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 697-731, 2008

35 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2010

See all articles by James Stribopoulos

James Stribopoulos

Superior Court of Justice (Ontario) / Formerly Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

Frederick Zemans

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

The end point in the access to justice debate often focuses on expanding the availability of legal services for the poor. This article argues that true access to justice requires greater focus on the quality of legal services provided. It tells the story of the introduction of peer review in Canada as a quality assurance tool for evaluating the legal work of a group of criminal lawyers. The article chronicles the various obstacles encountered in making even a very limited form of peer review a reality in Canada, where historically there has been skepticism about the peer review process in the legal profession. A key challenge was negotiating a baseline understanding of competence and quality. In doing so, the authors adapted the evaluative criteria used for peer review in England, Wales, and Scotland to develop a process-driven set of criteria. The authors conclude that peer review is a viable quality assurance tool for legal aid lawyers in Canada.

Suggested Citation

Stribopoulos, James and Zemans, Frederick, Peer Review in Canada: Results from a Promising Experiment (2008). Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 46, No. 4, pp. 697-731, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1582970

James Stribopoulos (Contact Author)

Superior Court of Justice (Ontario) / Formerly Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

No Address Available

Frederick Zemans

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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