During the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) AGM, held on the 18th February 2021, the CBA released its new report on COVID-19 and the justice system ‘No Turning Back’. The report, which was produced by a special task force, has concluded that there can be no return to the way things worked in the legal profession and the justice systems before the pandemic.
The report suggests that the pandemic has brought changes to the Canadian legal profession which have been long-awaited. The report includes a number of recommendations, to the CBA, around continuing and building on these changes in order to create a more innovative and effective justice system, which the population can have confidence in. Its recommendations include:
- Collaborate with domestic and international justice system partners on best practices
- Ensure that changes enhance access to justice instead of detracting from it by minimizing unintended consequences, including breaches of privacy
- Consider the impact on marginalized groups of implementing AI and other emerging technologies
The task force, established in April, 2020, brought together CBA members and justice system partners from across the country to assess the immediate and evolving issues for the delivery of legal services resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
CBA President, and task force Co-Chair, Brad Regehr has said “The pandemic kick-started a modernization of the way the legal profession and the justice system provide services – something the CBA has been advocating for a long time. We now need to make sure these changes are sustainable and that they are properly implemented to enhance access to justice. ”