An article authored by Jennifer Bond, David Wiseman and Emily Bates titled “The Cost of Uncertainty: Navigating the Boundary between Legal Information and Legal Services in the Access to Justice Sector” is now available on SSRN.
Here is the link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2821471
Here is the abstract:
The self-regulatory bodies that oversee legal professionals in Canada maintain strict control on the delivery of legal services, and access to justice projects must therefore always be conscious of activities that would violate certain restrictions. Careful adherence to these parameters is made difficult, however, by the lack of clarity about where the relevant boundaries are drawn. Using a project that provides legal assistance for refugees as a case study, this article highlights the challenges that the unclear distinction between “legal information” and “legal services” creates for access to justice initiatives. We conclude that the uncertainty can carry a variety of significant costs — including financial expense, human resource burdens, and unnecessary limits on program innovation — in a sector where affordable and creative solutions are desperately needed as a result of a persistent access to justice crisis. Ultimately, it is not merely the under-resourced access to justice sector that bears these costs, but rather disadvantaged individuals and society as a whole.