Access to Justice and the Public Interest in the Administration of Justice
University of New Brunswick Law Journal, Vol. 63, 2012
17 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2012 Last revised: 1 Oct 2013
Date Written: November 3, 2011
The public interest in the administration of justice requires access to justice for all. But access to justice must be “meaningful” access. Meaningful access requires procedures, processes, and institutional structures that facilitate communication among participants and decision-makers and ensure that judges and other decision-makers have the resources they need to render fully informed and sound decisions. Working from that premise, which is based on a reconceptualization of the objectives and methods of the justice process, the author proposes numerous specific changes in decision-making processes and practices. These changes are required to achieve a standard of decision-making that is consistent with the public interest in the administration of justice within a constitutional framework under the social and political conditions of the early 21st century. The essay illustrates the application of the principles and methods of "legitecture" to analysis of problems of institutional design in law.
Keywords: access to justice, administration of justice, legitecture, public interest, trial process, courts, dispute resolution, communication, fair hearing, institutional design, fact finding, rule of law, reasons for decision, law reform, jurisprudence, Canada
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