The Cost of Seeking Civil Justice in Canada

  • Noel Semple
Keywords: Access to justice, civil justice, Cost of justice, Psychological cost, Temporal cost


How much does it cost individual Canadians to seek civil justice? This article compiles empirical data about the monetary, temporal, and psychological costs confronting individual justice-seekers in this country. The analysis considers the hourly rates of Canadian lawyers relative to American lawyers, and the costs confronting justice-seekers in family courts relative to other civil courts, among other topics. The article suggests that analysis of private costs can improve access to justice in two ways. First, it can help public sector policy-makers reduce these costs. Second, it can help lawyers and entrepreneurs identify new, affordable ways to reduce the costs that are most onerous to individuals with different types of civil legal need.


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