Access to justice is often defined as a problem of costs and delays (Lebel, 2010). The problem is then reduced to a question of court administration and optimization of resources devoted to courthouse activities (Auditor General, 2012). These considerations are often distant from the concrete conditions concerning individuals’ access to law and justice. Such concerns have to go beyond the fields of civil and family law, and extend to youth rights, Aboriginal justice, criminal law and administrative law. When it comes to the price of justice, it is rare for the human costs related to justice to be taken into account. Assessment of justice costs has to include those entailed for the people involved in cases, such as the prices of professional honorariums, expert opinions and procedures. Such assessment has to explore solutions developed abroad in other jurisdictions, such as in Germany and elsewhere.
Director of ADAJ
Centre de recherche en droit public Faculté de droit Université de Montréal