REDUCING THE “JUSTICE GAP” THROUGH COLLABORATION MODELS FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE
USING NETWORKS TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO JUSTICE
The fall of 2023 marks the tenth anniversary of the release of two touchstone reports: the Canadian Bar Association’s Reaching Equal Justice Report and the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters’ Roadmap for Change. These reports outlined a heightened concern about access to justice across Canada and introduced goal-based roadmaps with target deadlines for change. In order to coordinate change, the authors of the reports suggested the development of multi-stakeholder implementation committees across all Canadian provinces and territories. However, “how” such action-oriented committees might be created and maintained was yet to be discovered for many jurisdictions. This paper seeks to contribute to the discourse on designing and evolving committees for systemic change by highlighting the characteristics, values, and challenges associated with one model for collaboration: networks. Using the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Network [SK A2J] as an example, we demonstrate how to design and maintain a network to reduce the “justice gap.” We also offer our combined reflections on how some SK A2J Network member organizations have used the power of networks to increase access to justice. With almost a decade since the release of the touchstone reports, we pause to consider and share our evolving Saskatchewan experience with the hope that other jurisdictions will do the same.
Keywords:Access to Justice, Systemic Change, Social Change, Justice Gap, Collaboration, Collaboration Models, Networks, Action, Implementation Committee, Civil Justice, Family Justice, Calls to Action
Copyright (c) 2023 The Canadian Bar Foundation
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