Access to Justice for All: Towards an "Expansive Vision" Of Justice and Technology

Jane Bailey
Jacquelyn Burkell
Graham Reynolds, Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia


In this paper, the authors examine developments in the Canadian access to justice dialogue from Macdonald's seminal 2005 analysis to the recent reports of the National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters [NAC]. They draw on the NAC's call for an "expansive vision" of access to justice as the basis for critically evaluating examples of particular technologies used or proposed as responses to the access to justice crisis in Canada. In so doing, they illustrate the importance of conscious consideration of deliverables and beneficiaries in prioritizing technologies for deployment, in determining how the technology ought to be deployed, and in evaluating the potential of a technology to facilitate access to justice. The authors argue that nuanced accounts of the relationships between justice deliverables, technological mechanisms for delivery and intended justice beneficiaries are essential to developing good decision-making mechanisms with respect to access to justice and technology.