The annual Isaac Pitblado Lectures are coming up in a couple of days and will focus attention this year on issues in access to justice. The agenda is filled with thought-provoking and intelligent discussions led by some very smart people on how we move forward on these issues.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Thomas Cromwell will open the Lectures on Friday, speaking about the culture shift that is necessary if the legal profession is to get a handle on ensuring access to adjudication of disputes through the courts. He’s followed on the agenda by Professor Trevor Farrow talking about the decision in Hryniak and addressing how we can incorporate the need for a culture shift and proportionality without jettisoning due process. The balance of Friday’s agenda deals with access to justice initiatives ongoing in Manitoba and elsewhere.
Saturday opens with a keynote by Professor Richard Devlin with the provocative title of Puttin’ Up or Shuttin’ Up. He will address some of the ethical issues around moving forward on access to justice. Dr. Melina Buckley rounds out the program with a discussion of practical action steps for closing the gaps and moving past the barriers identified.
Numerous Manitoba judges, lawyers and members of the community at large are also on the program, providing a snapshot of where we’re at and how far we’ve yet to go in removing barriers to accessing legal services and supports in Manitoba.
Unfortunately, unless you’ve already registered, you won’t be able to attend as this year’s event is sold out. I’ll try to tweet out some of the content using #Pitblado2014. Stay tuned.