What is Access to Justice Week? It’s a week for learning about what constitutes justice and why access to it is important. It’s a week dedicated to talking about the barriers to justice faced by Albertans, as well as existing and potential solutions. It’s a week during which we can learn about and celebrate the important work being done in the justice sector across the province.
Access to justice is sometimes equated with access to lawyers. Lawyers play an important role in helping individuals achieve just outcomes: lawyers educate their clients about their rights and responsibilities, they advise them about their options, and they advocate on their behalf. But access to justice is a broader concept than access to lawyers. It can mean having access to the resources necessary to effectively represent oneself in court. It can mean having access to the alternative dispute resolution services of a mediator or arbitrator. It can mean having a meaningful say in the laws by which we are governed. It can mean having laws that protect our fundamental freedoms and ensure our basic necessities. It can mean all this, and more.
Access to Justice Week started in Ontario and has since spread to Saskatchewan, British Columbia and now Alberta. During Alberta’s Access to Justice Week, there will be live, in-person events around the Province, as well as online content highlighting the work of Alberta’s justice sector organizations. Come join the conversation!