Growing Legal Aid Ontario into the Middle Class: A Proposal for Public Legal Expenses

in M.J. Trebilcock, T. Duggan & L. Sossin, eds., Middle-Income Access to Justice (University of Toronto Press, 2011), ch. 13.

14 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2017

See all articles by Sujit Choudhry

Sujit Choudhry

Center for Global Constitutionalism, WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Michael J. Trebilcock

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

James S. F. Wilson

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The legal aid system in Ontario is not working, particularly with respect to access to justice in civil matters. Financial eligibility requirements remain frozen at extremely low levels and have been steadily eroded by inflation, leaving increasing numbers of people ineligible for publicly paid legal assistance. The range of services covered prioritizes criminal and family law and, except for some legal aid clinics, does not extend to employment law, consumer law, and debtor/creditor law. Publicly funded legal assistance cannot meet many of the most pressing legal needs of middle income Ontarians. Moreover, private markets, as currently structured and regulated, have not bridged this gap in access. In this paper, we propose to grow Legal Aid Ontario into the middle class by grafting public legal expenses insurance on the existing program of publicly funded legal services for low income Ontarians.

Suggested Citation

Choudhry, Sujit and Trebilcock, Michael J. and Wilson, James S. F., Growing Legal Aid Ontario into the Middle Class: A Proposal for Public Legal Expenses (2011). in M.J. Trebilcock, T. Duggan & L. Sossin, eds., Middle-Income Access to Justice (University of Toronto Press, 2011), ch. 13.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3026044

Sujit Choudhry

Center for Global Constitutionalism, WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer 50
D-10785 Berlin, 10785
Germany

Michael J. Trebilcock (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-5843 (Phone)
416-978-1279 (Fax)

James S. F. Wilson

Stikeman Elliott LLP ( email )

5300 Commerce Court West
199 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M5L1B9
Canada

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