The Cost of Uncertainty: Navigating the Boundary between Legal Information and Legal Services in the Access to Justice Sector

Jennifer Bond, David Wiseman & Emily Bates, “The Costs of Uncertainty: Navigating the Boundary Between Legal Information and Legal Services in the Access to Justice Sector” 25 Journal of Law and Social Policy 1.

26 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2016

See all articles by Jennifer Bond

Jennifer Bond

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

David Wiseman

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Emily Bates

University of Ottawa - Refugee Assistance Project (UORAP)

Date Written: March 1, 2016

Abstract

The self-regulatory bodies that oversee legal professionals in Canada maintain strict control on the delivery of legal services, and access to justice projects must therefore always be conscious of activities that would violate certain restrictions. Careful adherence to these parameters is made difficult, however, by the lack of clarity about where the relevant boundaries are drawn. Using a project that provides legal assistance for refugees as a case study, this article highlights the challenges that the unclear distinction between "legal information" and "legal services" creates for access to justice initiatives. We conclude that the uncertainty can carry a variety of significant costs -- including financial expense, human resource burdens, and unnecessary limits on program innovation -- in a sector where affordable and creative solutions are desperately needed as a result of a persistent access to justice crisis. Ultimately, it is not merely the under-resourced access to justice sector that bears these costs, but rather disadvantaged individuals and society as a whole.

Keywords: refugee, access to justice, legal services, cost, legal aid

JEL Classification: I39, K19, K37, K40, K41, K49

Suggested Citation

Bond, Jennifer and Wiseman, David and Bates, Emily, The Cost of Uncertainty: Navigating the Boundary between Legal Information and Legal Services in the Access to Justice Sector (March 1, 2016). Jennifer Bond, David Wiseman & Emily Bates, “The Costs of Uncertainty: Navigating the Boundary Between Legal Information and Legal Services in the Access to Justice Sector” 25 Journal of Law and Social Policy 1.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2821471

Jennifer Bond (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

David Wiseman

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/index.php

Emily Bates

University of Ottawa - Refugee Assistance Project (UORAP) ( email )

Ottawa
Canada

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
142
rank
193,029
Abstract Views
632
PlumX Metrics