LE DROIT À L’AVOCAT, UNE HISTOIRE D’ARGENT
Keywords:Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Civil Procedure, Legal Aid, Access to Justice, Right to a lawyer, Unrepresented litigant, Financial resources, Rowbotham application, Criminal procedure
AbstractSelf-representation is a growing trend in Quebec, due to the ever increasing cost of legal services. This trend has major repercussions on the actors in the legal system and on the administration of justice, in addition to undermining the litigants’ prospects of winning. In such a context, recognition of the right to legal representation at the state’s expense sometimes looks like a solution to the problem. Beginning with a critique of the statutes and the case law concerning the right to legal representation, the authors go on to support the position that the parameters for the recognition of the right to legal representation, both constitutional and legislative, hinge on financial considerations. However, the limits on the right to legal representation, which are characteristic of an essentially neoliberal political climate, cause unrepresented litigants to run significant legal risks. Accepting these risks as one of a litigant’s liabilities translates economic inequality into legal and judicial inequality.
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