“... I wholeheartedly support the mission and the day-to-day operation of JusticeNet, a non-profit program that works to improve access to justice for all Canadians. JusticeNet provides an avenue to those who cannot afford the full cost of legal professional, but fall outside the low-income cutoffs of legal aid programs. JusticeNet is dedicated to a more open access to legal expertise for low- and moderate-income Canadians.
It is with a deep appreciation for the work of JusticeNet that I call on the legal community, on individual lawyers, and indeed on all Canadians to support the reach and the daily engagement of JusticeNet in favour of improved access to justice for all.
JusticeNet plays a crucial role in our democracy. Please support it.”
The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D.
27th Governor General of Canada
“[JusticeNet] operates in concert with legal aid and pro bono programs under the principles of fairness and flexibility. Its innovative network connects citizens with registered lawyers from a variety of different law backgrounds who devote a portion of their time to JusticeNet clients at an affordable rate.
Its services seek to benefit not only its clients but the justice system as well. For instance, it has been identified as helping ease the strain on Legal Aid by deferring applications and it has also relieved courts of some cumbersome self-litigation proceedings.
Currently, however, JusticeNet is only available to residents of Ontario. Due to its current success and valuable experience over the past two years, JusticeNet is looking to move beyond Ontario and become a truly national access-to-justice program, starting its expansion in British Columbia.
Therfore, it is without hesitation that I support the work of JusticeNet and its registered lawyers.”
The Right Honourable Paul Martin, P.C.
The 21st Prime Minister of Canada
“I am very supportive of the ideals of JusticeNet. Equitable access to legal advice is the ideal to which we should all strive, and your organization is addressing the unfortunate gaps that currently exist. Your organization promotes these ideals in an innovative and equitable way.
Over the past two years since I have been acquainted with JusticeNet, it has made a great deal of progress and has shown an ability to bring leaders of the legal community together to effectively address the issue of access to justice. JusticeNet is a committed and dedicated organization which I believe can make a significant contribution to our nation's justice system.
It is a pleasure to lend my support to your organization.”
The Honourable Frank Iacobucci, C.C., Q.C., LL.D.
Former Chief Justice of the Federal Court and Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
“I have followed the development of JusticeNet since its inception and I believe it provides an innovative model to address the access to justice issues faced by the middle class. During the Civil Justice Needs Study this past spring, I was struck by the tremendous need for legal services in these settings, where people tend not to qualify for legal aid and tend not to be able to afford the full cost of retaining a lawyer.
I believe JusticeNet has the expertise, dedication and vision to make a significant and sustainable contribution to access to justice in Ontario and Canada.”
Prof. Lorne Sossin
Legal scholar and Dean of Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
“Our society readily provides access to legal services to the wealthy and through Legal Aid and the Clinic system to the poor and various specialized groups. However, this leaves a large group without ready means to access legal services and the justice that only such services can secure. For our justice system to be "just" we need organizations like JusticeNet to facilitate these much needed services.”
Andrew C. Alleyne
President of the Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL)
“JusticeNet provides vital services to those needing lawyers for all aspects of law including civil, family and criminal law matters.
JusticeNet is of great assistance in providing legal representation to Canadians who would otherwise be without a lawyer. It is an innovative twenty-first century solution to this growing problem, by which private lawyers who can assist at reduced rates are matched with clients who need assistance.
JusticeNet helps solve the growing problem of self-represented litigants....”
Samuel S. Marr
President, Toronto Lawyers Association
“It is often said that legal aid is only able to assist the poorest of the poor in Canada. In Ontario, a single individual must earn no more than $12,000 annually in order to qualify for legal aid certificate assistance. That figure is thousands of dollars below any of the accepted poverty measures published by Statistics Canada. However, the likelihood for people earning $13,000, or even $20,000 per year, being able to retain lawyers privately at market rates is slim....
JusticeNet has been designed to complement rather than compete with existing legal aid programs. [Legal Aid Ontario] met with representatives of JusticeNet in its early days and quickly agreed to include JusticeNet in its referrals to clients, where appriopriate, who are not eligible for legal aid. We have also included a link to JusticeNet on our website. The arrangement to date has worked very effectively....”
Vice President, Policy and Research Legal Aid Ontario
“Many Canadians have difficulty gaining access to family mediation services; the JusticeNet initiative addresses this problem intelligently.
For this reason, FMC has agreed to encourage its certified mediators to contribute directly to the JusticeNet project by way of reducing their fees in order to make mediation services accessible to Canadians with limited financial resources. We are pleased we are able to collaborate with JusticeNet on this innovative project and we hope the project will continue to grow.”
President of Family Mediation Canada
“JusticeNet provides an alternative to the growing number of Canadians forced to represent themselves in court due to their inability to access legal assistance. It gives such clients effective referrals to participating professionals who have agreed to devote a portion of their practice to cases of low and medium income clients. The reduced hourly fees are calculated according to a transparent sliding scale, taking into account the clients’ annual income and number of dependants.
With its referral service, JusticeNet has helped mitigate the great burden on the justice system created by self-represented litigants, including increased delays and additional operating costs.
I strongly endorse JusticeNet and support its initiatives to improve access to justice throughout Canada. This is a valuable service for the individuals utilizing it and for the justice system as a whole.”
Dr. Barbara Landau
President of Cooperative Solutions
“ I must say how thrilled I was to learn about JusticeNet.ca from the Toronto Star article. You have accomplished something very valuable, but also important. But first, please let me tell you just how valuable and effective JusticeNet.ca was today. By accessing JusticeNet.ca, I accomplished the impossible, as far as I'm concerned. I was able to obtain legal services for an urgent pre-hearing meeting that is to take place tomorrow morning. It gets better. This lawyer couldn't be more experienced in this difficult area of law if we had designed him ourselves! JusticeNet should be very, very proud of being able to help make that possible. Especially if you knew the circumstances of the case, as I do… ”
Director from a Seniors' Aid Agency
“ I would just like to give a big heart felt thanks to everyone involved in this program. Your program is a welcome relief. It has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. After separating a year and a half ago I went to a lawyer paid a $1000 retainer. Now have a bill for an additional $700 and had only met with him once. Meanwhile I was only working part-time and struggling fincially. When my ex-husband filed court paper asking for the divorce and division of property I tried to do the response myself but was completely lost. Out of shear frustration and desperation I called legal aid to find out I did not qualify because I started full time employment in January and made $4ooo too much. They however provided me with your contact number. From that I was able to meet with a lawyer, had my forms completed correctly and now filed. Such a relief to know that I will be able to go into court with representation that isn't going to cost me and my kids their home. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. ”
“Our justice system will be further strengthened with the introduction of the JusticeNet program, as it will serve to complement existing access to justice programs intended for people who do not qualify for legal aid.”
The Hon. Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada