Fourteen months ago, I published a post here on two recent Supreme Court of Canada decisions that potentially liberalized the ability to use motions to strike to determine questions of law. I explained how this can benefit both the rule of law and access to justice. This conceptualization of access to justice is not based on abstract notions of justice (many of which are frequently contested) but based on ensuring courts can decide more cases on their merits reasonably promptly, at less expense for the courts and litigants. This can result in clarification of the law, advancing the rule of law, and furthers a predictable conceptualization of access to justice, also consistent with the rule of law. Last month, the University of New Brunswick Law Journal published a piece exploring these issues in more depth. ARL readers may want to read the entire article, available on CanLII here.
This UNBLJ publication occurred one day after the Ottawa Law Review published my article, “Wither the Divisional Court? Looking at the Past, Analyzing the Present, and Querying the Future of Ontario’s Intermediate Appellate Court”. Available here, this largely addresses how the Ontario appellate process could be re-structured to increase predictability and improve judicial use of resources: again, connecting access to justice and the rule of law.
These pieces both address different aspects of civil procedure. Through them, I hope to indicate that protecting the rule of law is not confined to high profile public law decisions. Rather, it can be manifested in every day civil procedure, among elsewhere. In doing so, it can also advance a normatively coherent conception of access to justice: allowing courts to be accessible, resolving more cases quickly with minimal financial expense.