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Canada's justice deficit : the case for a justice system report card / by Benjamin Perrin, Richard Audas and Sarah Péloquin-Ladany.

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Canadian Policing Research






Includes bibliographical references.


1 online resource (34 pages)


Executive summary in English and in French.


“The main role of the criminal justice system is to protect the safety, lives, and property of Canadians by promptly and thoroughly investigating crimes, holding trials, and dealing with offenders. It must do so while guaranteeing the constitutional rights of accused persons, supporting victims of crime, and do so cost effectively. Similarly, the role of the civil justice system is to resolve disputes by giving litigants timely access to the courts and offering fair and efficient trials. Unfortunately, in neither case is the system working as it was intended to do. Our review has found the justice system to be largely opaque and unaccountable. Evidence suggests that it is slow, inefficient, and failing to meet many of its core objectives. Another problem is that for those without a lawyer, Canada’s justice system is largely unnavigable. The costs of litigation for many are excessive – even prohibitive – which raises ongoing questions about access to justice. Canada is suffering from what we call a “justice deficit”: a large and growing gap between the aspirations of the justice system and its actual performance. In provinces and territories that have not taken concrete steps to stem the tide, we see rising case processing times, a growing population of accused persons on remand pending trial, increasing costs across the board, and a growing number of people unable to afford a lawyer. This inefficient system is imposing economic and social costs on Canadians.”—Page 2.


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