News Release
June 19, 2017

Vancouver, June 19, 2017 – The Law Society of British Columbia welcomes the findings and recommendations of the federal government’s Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs set out in its final report “Delaying Justice is Denying Justice.”

The Law Society is particularly heartened by the report’s conclusion that “having an adequately resourced legal aid system in criminal matters is an essential tool to prevent delays and to maintain the integrity of our justice system,” and its recommendation that “the Minister of Justice undertake a full-scale review of legal aid plans with a view to bringing access to legal aid up to acceptable levels across Canada.”

The report’s recommendation supports the vision for legal aid adopted by Law Society Benchers in March this year, outlined in its report, “A Vision for Publicly Funded Legal Aid in British Columbia.” Recognizing that publicly funded legal aid plays an essential role in achieving access to justice, the vision acknowledges that “all people, regardless of their means and without discrimination, should have access to legal information and publicly funded professional legal advice.”

“The Senate committee’s conclusions are very encouraging,” said Law Society President Herman Van Ommen, QC. “The report marks a positive step toward addressing systemic issues that have denied too many Canadians access to justice.”

“It is gratifying to see the Senate give this grave issue the attention it deserves,” said Second Vice-President Nancy Merrill, QC, chair of the Law Society’s Legal Aid Advisory Committee. “We fully support its goal of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Canada’s justice system.”

The Law Society of British Columbia upholds and protects the public interest in the administration of justice by ensuring the independence, integrity and competence of lawyers, establishing education and professional development standards for lawyers, regulating the practice of law and preserving and protecting the rights and freedoms of all persons.


For further information contact:

David Jordan
Communications Officer

Vinnie Yuen
Communications Officer