SHORTCHANGING JUSTICE: THE ARBITRARY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN REFUGEE SYSTEM REFORM AND FEDERAL LEGAL AID FUNDING
AbstractCanada’s system for processing refugee claims changed significantly in 2012 when the federal government implemented wide-ranging reforms. This article examines the extent to which the link between these reforms and the legal needs of refugee claimants were considered as part of either the legislative process or the intergovernmental legal aid funding agreements process. It concludes that no meaningful consideration occurred in either and that this renders the legal aid funding model arbitrary. This arbitrary approach is then situated in a historical context and shown to be the culmination of a federal refugee policy trajectory that is increasingly shortchanging access to justice for refugees.
Keywords:Legal Aid, Access to Justice, refugee law, federal funding
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