Can BC Lead The Way On Paralegals?

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The scope of practice for paralegals, especially to help family litigants, has become a central issue in the debate over A2J in Canada. In this episode, Nancy Merrill, a family lawyer and mediator, and now the President of the BC Law Society, talks about her vision for expanding alternative legal services in BC, and her hopes for change. Will BC become a battleground for this issue as it has in Ontario, in the wake of the (still not implemented)Bonkalo report? Nancy’s commitment to the BC Law Society being a “courageous and innovative regulator” extends to rethinking legal education and training, promoting diversity initiatives, and increasing awareness about mental health challenges in the legal profession. In other news: NSRLP will have intervener status in a case at the Alberta Court of Appeal, in the context of the apparently increasing frequency with which SRLs are designated vexatious, or have contempt orders issued against them; the Ontario Court of Appeal has published an order providing CBC the right to place cameras in particular courtrooms to record, live-stream, and broadcast specific proceedings, and we’re hopeful this could result in more openness and transparency in court proceedings; the Ontario government has announced a fundamental change to the justice system by vastly expanding the pool of potential jurors, to better reflect economic and racial diversity; and finally, Julie and Bernie Mayer recently presented a joint keynote address for the annual conference of the Ontario Association of Family Mediators and the Ontario Collaborative Law Federation, discussing the role of mediators in administering access to justice. For related links and more on this episode visit our website: https://representingyourselfcanada.com/can-bc-lead-the-way-on-paralegals/ Jumping Off the Ivory Tower is produced and hosted by Julie Macfarlane and Dayna Cornwall; production and editing by Brauntë Petric; Other News produced and hosted by Ali Tejani; promotion by Moya McAlister and Ali Tejani.

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