The importance of legal aid

What happens when one is told that they cannot be represented by lawyers at a Human rights tribunal hearing because the lawyer in question feels that the complainant received a reasonable offer but in turn the complainant vehemently disagrees?

What happens if said complainant does not have the funds to afford the services of a lawyer?

This is what recently happened when an Ontario Human Rights lawyer informed their client that they could no longer represent their interests at an upcoming Human Rights hearing because they felt that their client had received a reasonable offer from the respondent.

We would probably never know what the real reason would be but we could only offer these possibilities.

  • It may be due to prioritizing due to deep cuts to legal aid.
  • It could be that the lawyer in question may not have taken enough time to fully understand the gravity of the complaint.
  • It could be that the lawyer is just following instructions from up above this being not to go against the present chain of command when it comes to not rocking the boat within the establishment.

Whatever the reason, this particular complainant is now without any legal aid support and without going into too many details, and unless this individual can find a way to obtain proper representation at the upcoming tribunal hearing; a glaring glitch in our system will only continue to grow.  Most important, a violation of this person’s rights would have been trampled upon.  This is why we need to ensure that legal aid remains in tact for those who are unable to afford it both financially as well as mentally.

Just my two cents for today.

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