Equal access to justice is central to our democratic society and integral to the effective functioning of our justice system. Lawyers and legal professionals play a critical leadership role by contributing time and money to ensure access to justice, and those efforts continue to be a central focus of the CBF’s work. However, an equally important part of our responsibility as a legal community is to use our influence to ensure that government and the courts also does their part. Government bears the primary responsibility for ensuring access to justice, but if we as a legal community do not take the lead in making this case to government leaders, who will?
Working with the CBA and many other partner organizations, the CBF’s advocacy efforts are principally split into two areas: advocacy to improve access to the courts and legislative/policy advocacy.
• Our court-based advocacy aims to make the court system more user-friendly and accessible to all people, particularly for the growing number of people who come to court without lawyers.
• Our legislative/policy advocacy works to advance government funding for legal aid and implementation of policies that support and advance equal access to justice.
While these efforts are clearly complementary, each involves advocacy efforts that engage different constituencies, coalition partners and government stakeholders.