Over 50 Justice Organizations Agree to a Common Access to Justice Goal That Puts User Experience at the Centre
Yesterday (June 12) in Vancouver, leaders of BC’s justice system came together to endorse the Access to Justice Triple Aim.
The one goal of improving access to justice in BC has three interrelated elements:
- improving population access to justice
- improving the user experience of access to justice and
- improving costs (as they relate to access to justice).
Each participating organization has committed to a common goal to improve access to justice in BC and to action to pursue that goal. How organizations choose to act is for them to decide within the context of their respective mandates.
Implicit in the Triple Aim notion is the idea that its three elements are interdependent: change in one element may produce change in the others. The Triple Aim approach is therefore an exercise in dynamic balance – a recognition that good ideas are subject to policy, financial, and other practical constraints. Overall, the Triple Aim encourages a “user-centric” perspective.
The Access to Justice Triple Aim is an initiative of Access to Justice BC – a network of people and organizations from the judiciary, the government, not-for-profit justice organizations and the public dedicated to realizing a common vision – access to justice for all British Columbians. Access to Justice BC borrowed the Triple Aim concept from the health system and adapted it to the justice sector.
Jennifer Muller, a self-represented litigant and an active member of Access to Justice BC’s Leadership Group and Steering Committee commented:
“It will make a real difference for people who use the justice system that justice sector organizations are collectively committing to the Access to Justice Triple Aim. The Triple Aim pushes the system to be more attentive to the challenges and needs of single parents, like me, who have to take off time from work or travel a distance to go to court. If the Triple Aim were applied to court scheduling, wait times at the courthouse would be reduced.”
This cross-sector commitment to a common goal is an historic step for justice sector organizations that have quite different mandates, which often require that they act independently of each other.
Yesterday’s event represented the justice sector collectively acknowledging that the civil and family justice system needs to work better for the people it is intended to serve. Robert Bauman, Chief Justice of British Columbia and Chair of Access to Justice BC, told the group that the Rule of Law is at risk if citizens are denied access to justice. David Eby, Attorney General of British Columbia, spoke of how important it was for justice system organizations to work together and to collectively focus on improving the experience of those who turn to the justice system, ensuring that services work for the people who need them.
No one was suggesting that the Access to Justice Triple Aim will be an easy goal to attain. Yet the gathering was a celebratory one – not a celebration of achievement (there is too much to be done for that) but a celebration of hope and promise.
— Jane Morley QC, Strategic Coordinator
Access to Justice BC