Re: “Put Justice within Reach”, Editorial Oct. 12 | The Toronto Star
Letter to the Editor by Barbara Captijn
Published in The Toronto Star Oct. 17, 2013, and on www.thestar.com
“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers,” wrote Shakespeare in Henry V1, written in 1591 — a cry out against the perceived trickery in the legal system that seems to work against the average person. Hard to believe that in 2013 we are still trying to make the justice system serve the needs of everyday people in everyday life.
Help may be on the way. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Beverley McLachlin, has thankfully initiated a study that could bring about much-needed reform. The report, “A Roadmap for Change,” advocates more problem-solving, and putting the needs of the public first.
The choice to self-represent is usually out of financial necessity: a settlement of $15,000 is little use to anyone if it’s wiped out by legal costs of $10,000. But to self-represent is a “lose-lose” proposition for everyone — individuals, our communities and the taxpayer. It over-burdens our already sclerotic system, and causes extreme stress and financial hardship to individuals and families.