Law Libraries: Ensuring Competency in the Profession and Access to Justice
Updated: Feb 22
Law libraries represent one of the pillars of our constitutional democracy. Not only are they required for the proper functioning of the rule of law where every citizen is presumed to know the law, they are critical to lawyer and paralegal competency.
The common law system requires that lawyers know how laws have been previously interpreted by the courts. Indeed, as lawyers, we are ethically obligated to bring developments in the common law to the Court's attention regardless of whether it helps or hinders our client's case. Access to legal research materials is therefore a precondition to our ability to perform our duties, those owed to the Court, our clients, and the public. Furthermore, law libraries are one of very few sources of highly skilled and free legal research assistance for self-represented litigants.
Despite the critical importance of law libraries , the Law Society of Ontario cut our law library system funding by 10%. The law library at the Ottawa Court House, the CCLA's Gordon F. Henderson Law Library, was cut by 14%. The law libraries were not consulted prior to the cuts being made and were given two (2) week's notice.
In my capacity as Chair of the External Relations Committee for the CCLA, we prepared the following statement in response to the recent LSO 2021 budget cuts:
The CCLA calls on the LSO to ensure that its cuts to LIRN in response to COVID-19 are temporary and that all funding will be reinstated thereafter.
If you believe in the fundamental importance of lawyer/paralegal competency and access to justice, we ask that you circulate the CCLA's statement widely among your network. We cannot harm one of the central pillars of lawyer and paralegal competency. Katie Black
No Lawyer-Client Relationship
No lawyer-client, fiduciary, or other relationship is created by the access or use of the Black & Associates website or by communicating with any of our lawyers or staff members by way of e-mail or otherwise through the Black & Associates website.
Not Legal Advice
The material provided on the Black & Associates website is for general information purposes only. The contents of the Black & Associates website does not constitute legal advice. No one should act, or refrain from acting, based solely upon the materials provided on this website, any hypertext links or other general information without first seeking appropriate legal or other professional advice.You should never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. All links to external documents and all information on this website are provided for your convenience and informational purposes only. Your use of these materials is at your own risk.