Pro Bono News

Government-Financed Civil Legal Aid is "Not a Right" Declares British Columbia Court of Appeal

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

  • Brennan Center

The Vancouver Sun reports: "The [British Columbia] Court of Appeal has backed [British Columbia] Supreme Court Chief Justice Don Brenner's decision to kill the Canadian Bar Association's landmark attempt to force governments to provide adequate civil legal aid to poor people. In a majority ruling Monday [March 3, 2008], the court agreed with the province's senior trial court judge and said he was also quite right to assess costs against the CBA. Susan McGrath, past president of the bar association, said she was saddened because the decision means access to justice will continue being denied to those least able to help themselves . . . . [In the judgment], Justice Brenner said the bar association was the wrong group to launch such a lawsuit, and the remedy it sought was far too sweeping."

Read full article online. Ian Mulgrew, The Vancouver Sun, March 4, 2008