Letter of Transmittal
Honourable Chris Bentley
The Honourable Chris Bentley
Ministry of the Attorney General
720 Bay St., 11th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 2S9
November 20, 2007
Dear Mr. Attorney:
I am pleased to submit for your consideration the Summary of Findings and Recommendations of the Civil Justice Reform Project (the "Review").
The Summary of Findings and Recommendations is the first product of this Review, which I was asked to undertake in June of 2006. The Final Report of the Review will be delivered shortly.
As set out in the Terms of Reference, I have reviewed potential areas of reform and made recommendations to make the civil justice system more accessible and affordable. I believe the bulk of the recommendations are suitable for implementation within a reasonable time and, if implemented, will enhance access to justice for Ontarians.
Access to justice was the overarching issue in this Review, for both represented and unrepresented litigants. Central to my recommendations is the principle that the time and expense of any proceeding should be proportionate to the amount in dispute and the importance of the issues at stake. I have also duly considered the reality of regional differences within the province, in terms of legal culture, and procedural practices that respond to local needs.
With these objectives in mind, I have recommended changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure, several statutory amendments, potential improved scheduling practices for the judiciary, and best practices for the profession.
In gathering background information, comments and proposals for this Review, I have been aided enormously by members of the judiciary, the bar, and the public. I have also been greatly assisted by staff at the Ministry of the Attorney General, who have provided dedicated project management and research support.
I look forward to your considered response to the recommendations in this Summary of Findings and Recommendations.
Coulter A. Osborne