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After the Pandemic: A conversation about the future of justice

As the pandemic drags on, can the key players in the legal sector learn to work together to implement lasting and meaningful reforms?


Over the course of the next few weeks, that’s the question we’ll be asking guests on our series After the Pandemic - A conversation about the Future of Justice, produced by CBA National in partnership with CBA Futures.

There’s no question that COVID-19 has put many of our institutions to the test – and our justice system is no exception. Caught completely off guard, a legal sector notoriously slow to embrace change has been forced to adapt on the fly and experiment with new ways of doing things. First, our courts had to mostly shut down, before allowing some appearances to take place through video conferencing or by phone. They have also been scrambling to facilitate the e-filing of documents.  Law firms have had to find ways to enable their lawyers and staff to work remotely.

All of which should be applauded. But in truth, the court system has been barely holding it together for years, struggling with backlogs and unreasonable delays. It would be a shame to waste this chance to begin setting things right and implementing meaningful reforms.

To kick off our first episode, I’m joined by two lawyers who have given these questions a lot of thought: John-Paul Boyd, Q.C. is a lawyer, trained mediator, parenting coordinator, and arbitrator as well as the principal at John-Paul Boyd Arbitration Chambers. Kyla Sandwith is a legal operations consultant and the founder of De Novo Inc.

John-Paul and Kyla share their experience in trying to launch projects that were aimed at making justice more accessible for regular Canadians, but then ran into roadblocks. They offer some ideas about what level of effort is needed to get reform of our justice system onto the legislative agenda.

Listen now.

You can access a copy of the transcript here.