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New pro bono project to make it easier for low-income Ontarians to have their day at the Supreme Court of Canada

Thursday, April 05, 2012

  • Organization: PBLO
  • Source: PBLO > Pro Bono Law Ontario

TORONTO, ON April 5, 2012 Pro Bono Law Ontario (PBLO), in partnership with the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and the Supreme Court of Canada, launched a new pilot project today to provide free legal services to low-income self-represented Ontarians seeking leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Initiated at the Court’s request, the project will help eligible litigants determine the merits of their leave applications and offer assistance to those found to have prospects for success. The volunteer lawyers are former law clerks at the Supreme Court.

The project is administered by PBLO through its Law Help Ontario service. By supplementing existing self-help kits with pro bono legal assistance, the Project seeks to eliminate barriers to access to justice and ease the process for unrepresented litigants who want to appeal to the Supreme Court. With the benefit of PBLO’s project model, the CBA plans to liaise with pro bono groups across Canada to ensure nation-wide coverage.
Former Supreme Court Judge Ian Binnie commended the PBLO/CBA venture at a reception held in Toronto. “Access to justice is a national concern and one that preoccupies our Supreme Court. The pro bono project is a very significant contribution to helping the Court identify meritorious claims. The assistance of voluntary lawyers who are knowledgeable in Supreme Court procedures will make a world of difference to individual citizens who lack the know-how and resources to carry their claims forward without it. This is a terrific initiative and I applaud those who are responsible for it.”

PBLO is a charity founded in 2001 with a mandate to improve access to justice by promoting and facilitating opportunities for lawyers to provide volunteer legal services to low-income Ontarians with civil, non-family, legal problems. PBLO is funded in part by The Law Foundation of Ontario and The Law Society of Upper Canada. It is one of the largest, privately funded free legal service providers in Canada. Last year PBLO served 13,758 clients. www.pblo.org
The CBA is a national association representing approximately 37,000 jurists, including lawyers, notaries, law teachers and students, across Canada. Our primary objectives are to uphold the Rule of Law, improve the administration of justice, and promote equality in the law. www.cba.org

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Contacts:

Lynn Burns, Executive Director
Pro Bono Law Ontario
Tel 416-977-4448 ext. 225
Fax 416-977-6668
lynn@pblo.org

Jacqueline L. King
Chair, CBA Supreme Court Liaison Committee
Shibley Righton LLP
Tel (416) 214-5222
Fax (416) 214-5422
jking@shibleyrighton.com

Barbara Kincaid, General Counsel

Supreme Court of Canada
Tel (613) 996-7721
Barbara.Kincaid@scc-csc.gc.ca
 

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