Lawyer looks at documents

Prepared by Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre for the Feminist Law and Policy Reform Coalition, endorsed by over 30 Ontario organizations, this is a response to the FLSP Call for Comment.

We support the three guiding principles informing the development of the Law Society of Ontario‘s consultation paper: access to justice, public protection and viability. However, while we do not oppose the licensing of Family Legal Service Providers (FLSPs) and see a role for them within the family law system, we are not convinced this will fully address these principles.

Access to justice, in particular, is a complex problem; one that will not be solved – and, in fact, might be exacerbated – by the licensing of FLSPs as presently proposed by the LSO.

As Julie Mathews and David Wiseman write in Community Justice Help: Advancing Community- Based Access to Justice:

Access to justice exists when people can pursue their goals and address their law-related problems in ways that are consistent with fair legal standards and processes; and can obtain, understand, and act on information and services related to the law, where necessary, to achieve just outcomes.

This will take more than licensing of paralegals.

Download Comments on the Law Society of Ontario’s Family Legal Services Provider Licence Consultation Paper