Law Society of BC Report Recommends a Liberalization of Legal Services in order to Improve Access to Justice

Last month, the Law Society of BC released a report authored by its “Legal Services Regulatory Framework Taskforce” recommending that the organization request a legislative amendment allowing it to create and regulate new classes of legal service providers and to expand the scope of areas in which non-lawyers could provide legal services.

The report is part of an ongoing process imitated by the Law Society to address access to justice issues in BC. The report cites several areas of practice where problems with access to justice are particularly acute including “family law, employment law, debtor/ creditor law, and advocacy in small claims court.” The liberalization of legal services in these areas has the potential to reduce costs and other barriers to accessing legal services. However, the report cautions that “some legal needs will still not be able to be met by free market services.”

A recent article in the Vancouver Sun discusses the recommendations and implications of the report in more detail.