Public Values

BC report recommends legal aid be a public service

Social and economic costs of failed system borne by communities.

Doust: Social, economic costs of inadequate legal aid system too high to postpone fundamental changeby Jeremy Hainsworth, The Lawyers Weekly

VANCOUVER, BC, March 18, 2011: Women, children, aboriginals, refugees, mental health patients, low-income individuals, and rural communities are most underserved by BC's legal aid system, reveals a new report entitled Making the Case for Legal Aid as an Essential Public Service.

The report recommends that more individuals should be eligible for legal aid. It also states that legal information is not a substitute for legal aid.

"BC's legal aid system is failing to meet the human, economic, and social needs of British Columbians and should be an essential service like health care, says a new commission report into the system.

'It is... as essential as education, healthcare, and social assistance. The legal aid system picks up where our other social systems fail and timely legal aid can often significantly reduce the strain on healthcare and social assistance,' said veteran BC lawyer Len Doust, who headed a public commission on legal aid launched in June 2010..."

For the complete article, please click here.

Posted: March 28, 2011

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