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October 23, 2023
TORONTO, ON — This morning, the eighth annual Access to Justice Week (A2J) in Ontario (October 23 to 27), opened with a sunrise ceremony led by Indigenous Elder Myeengun Henry, marking the start of a week filled with educational sessions aimed at breaking down barriers to access to justice.
Together with national partners, this year’s series of interactive in-person and virtual workshops, panels and seminars will celebrate the progress made in advancing access to justice and assess the work that lies ahead. Importantly, this week is an opportunity to create meaningful commitments and action plans for the next ten years to continue challenging systemic barriers, to innovate, and to ensure a just, effective and accessible justice system for all.
“The Law Society has a mandate to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and A2J Week is very important in fulfilling that mandate,” said Law Society Treasurer Jacqueline Horvat. “Not only does it bring focus to the complexities of this issue, but it engages legal professionals and justice sector partners to think about their roles in delivering people-centred solutions for Ontarians to better access the legal advice and services they need. All in all, this week is about finding ways to keep people at the heart of the legal process,” Horvat added.
Access to Justice Week 2023 features a robust schedule of programs for legal professionals and community and justice sector workers. Highlights of the week include discussions around systemic racism and marginalization in the legal sector, how to develop and implement cultural humility and empathy in practice, the ongoing challenges faced by women in the legal professions, the impact of virtual hearings post-pandemic and much more.
In recognizing the importance of understanding the direct needs of those who use the system, this year’s Access to Justice Week also includes free educational sessions for members of the public. This is an opportunity for the public to familiarize themselves with the justice system and to learn more about their rights.
Programs for the public include the following:
Visit the TAG website for full details of the week’s programming.
Legal professionals from across Canada, members of the public and media are welcome to attend programming, free of charge. Additionally, most of the programming sessions for legal professionals are CPD-accredited. Space is limited, so advance registration is required.
Ontario’s A2J Week is hosted by TAG: The Action Group on Access to Justice in collaboration with the Law Society of Ontario and justice sector partners. TAG was established by the Law Society of Ontario in 2015 to facilitate better coordination and collaboration across the justice sector. With support from the Law Society of Ontario and the Law Foundation of Ontario, TAG works with a range of justice stakeholders to develop meaningful, public-centred solutions that advance systemic change. Read the backgrounder.
The Law Society regulates lawyers and paralegals in Ontario in the public interest. The Law Society has a mandate to protect the public interest, to maintain and advance the cause of justice and the rule of law, to facilitate access to justice for the people of Ontario and to act in a timely, open and efficient manner.
Photos of today’s sunrise ceremony and B-roll will be available for download from the Law Society’s Media Room.
Members of the media: please confirm your attendance at any of the sessions in advance by contacting the media contact below. Thank you.
Media contact: Cristina MacKenzie, Communications Advisor, External Relations and Communications, email@example.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, X and Facebook.