Attorney General Takes Action to Improve Access to Justice

    Legal Aid Review And New Protocol Will Strengthen Access To Justice And
    Effective Use Of Public Funds

    TORONTO, Nov. 5 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is expanding ongoing
actions to improve access to justice in Ontario, Attorney General Chris
Bentley said.
    "Strengthening and improving Ontario's legal aid system is a key priority
for our government," said Bentley.
    Bentley announced that he is accelerating the development of a new
protocol between the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Aid Ontario.
This work started immediately after comments made by Superior Court Justice
Bryan Shaughnessy on June 14, 2007, in relation to R. v. Wills. The protocol
will ensure that public funds for legal aid are spent effectively in those
rare criminal cases where the ministry is ordered to pay for defense counsel.
    Bentley will work with John McCamus, the Chair of Legal Aid Ontario, and
seek input from the criminal defense bar on the formalized protocol.
    In addition, Bentley will meet with Professor Michael Trebilcock who is
leading a review of the legal aid system in Ontario.
    "I look forward to Professor Trebilcock's recommendations as we work to
strengthen legal aid in Ontario," said Bentley. "Access to justice for those
who need it most must rest upon a strong foundation ensuring the effective use
of public resources, with appropriate checks and balances in place."
    The Legal Aid Review was announced in September 2006, and is expected to
be completed at the end of February 2008.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Sheamus Murphy, Ministry of the Attorney
General, Minister's Office, (416) 518-1322; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the
Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210

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