Nunavut Legal Services Study

APPENDIX A - QUESTIONS FROM THE TERMS OF REFERENCE

The terms of reference produced by Justice Canada and the territories addressed the issues and questions listed below. The researchers were requested to pay particular attention, wherever possible, to the possible variations in experiences of men, women, young people, and other groups in society.

  • Issue 1: Impact of court structure, geography and culture on the demand for legal services, the pattern of service delivery, and the quality of services
    • How many clients received legal aid services, for criminal and civil legal matters for different levels of court, for the last three years for which data is available?
    • How many clients were deemed ineligible for legal aid services?
    • What was the nature of legal advice and support provided in these matters?
    • What is the proportion of trials by jury and trials by judge only? What factors impact on their relative frequency?
    • How have the demand for legal advice and support, the pattern of service delivery and the quality of services changed during the same period? What has contributed to these changes?
  • Issue 2: Impact of circuit courts on clients
    • How does the circuit court structure impact on clients, the level of legal advice and support, the pattern of service delivery and the quality of services?
    • What are the nature and extent of delays on circuit courts? What factors contribute to such delays? What is the impact on accused persons, litigants and other stakeholders?
    • What types of criminal and civil matters are most frequently postponed?
    • What is the number of appearances by case type?
    • To what extent is there continuity in defence counsel for accused persons? What factors contribute to discontinuity in defence counsel? What are the dynamics and impacts of presumed eligibility?
    • What are the nature, extent and implications of unmet need for legal advice and support on circuit courts? What are the possible strategies and resources required to respond to those needs?
  • Issue 3: Increased role of Courtworkers
    • What are the "official and unofficial" roles of Courtworkers in criminal and civil matters?
    • To what extent are there pressures on Courtworkers to expand their roles? If so, in what area(s) of law and for what types of services?
    • How many clients received Courtworker support, both in and out of court, during the last three years for which data is available?
    • What were the nature and extent of services provided by Courtworkers in criminal and civil matters during the same period?
    • What are the current barriers to effective service delivery? What are the possible strategies for overcoming these barriers?
    • What are the nature, extent and implications of unmet need for Courtworker services? What are the possible strategies and resources required to respond to those needs?
    • Is the training provided the Courtworkers adequate for their current roles? If not, what is the nature and extent of unmet training needs, and possible strategies for addressing those needs?
    • Are there any changes anticipated or under development with respect to Courtworkers? Is so, what is the nature of and rationale for those changes? What are the proposed timetables and the constraints that may affect the realization of program developments?
  • Issue 4: Unmet needs for legal representation in Territorial and Justice of the Peace (JP) courts
    • What numbers and types of criminal and civil matters were heard in JP and Territorial courts during the last three years for which data is available, by region and/or community?
    • Has the nature of criminal and civil matters heard in each setting changed during the same period? If so, how? What has contributed to those changes?
    • What are the frequencies of guilty pleas, trials and guilty findings, and the nature of dispositions in each setting?
    • In what percentage of cases are clients represented by legal counsel or Courtworkers?
    • What are the nature, implications and extent of unmet need for adequate representation in criminal and civil matters? What are the possible strategies and resources required to respond to those needs?
    • Are there any changes anticipated or under development with respect to JP courts? If so, what is the nature of and rationale for those changes? What are the proposed timetables and the constraints that may encourage or prevent the realization of program developments?
  • Issue 5: Unmet needs in family and other civil matters
    • What has been the history of funding of civil legal aid in Nunavut, including financial levels and conditions of funding?
    • What is the nature of legal advice and support currently covered by statutory mandate in family and other civil matters?
    • What are the practical limitations on the delivery of legal aid in family and other civil matters with respect to the availability of training, expertise and other resources, the scheduling or cases and other relevant issues?
    • What are the nature, extent and implications of unmet needs? What are the possible strategies and resources required to respond to those needs?
  • Issue 6: Unmet needs prior to first appearance or first instance
    • What is the current scope of legal advice and support provided by duty counsel, Courtworkers and others prior to first appearance in criminal matters, and prior to first instance in family and other civil matters?
    • What are the barriers to effective legal advice and support in criminal and civil matters prior to first appearance?
    • Are there variations in the advice and support provided that depend on the nature of the matter at hand and other factors such as geographic location or culture?
    • What is the number of show cause/bail hearings?
    • What is the number of clients served?
    • What is the estimated percentage of cases where no lawyer or court worker is available to talk to clients?
    • What is the proportion of unrepresented accused detained? What is the estimated percentage of those removed from the community?
    • What are the nature, extent and implications of unmet needs for legal advice and support prior to first appearance or first instance in criminal and civil matters?
    • What are the possible strategies and resources required to respond to those needs?
  • Issue 7: Interplay between the criminal and civil spheres in the generation of legal needs
    • What proportion of criminal charges and/or convictions is associated with a demand for civil justice services involving the same individuals or families, or vice versa?
    • What are the nature of the legal matters and the characteristics of the clients involved (e.g., age, gender, location)?
    • What types of un-addressed civil matters most frequently result in criminal incidents and vice versa?
    • What is the possible impact of not addressing civil legal matters in terms of subsequent demand for criminal legal aid?
  • Issue 8: Public legal education and information (PLEI) needs
    • What are the nature, extent and intended purpose of current PLEI activities in Nunavut communities?
    • How is PLEI provided and by whom?
    • What are the linkages, between legal aid staff, other PLEI providers, and service providers?
    • What role, if any, do PLEI providers play in referring clients to other legal and non-legal resources and services?
    • What role, if any, does PLEI play in the provision of criminal and civil legal aid?
    • What are the nature, extent and implications of unmet PLEI needs? What are the possible strategies and resources required to respond to those needs?
    • Is the training given to PLEI providers adequate for their current roles? If not, what are the nature and extent of unmet training needs and possible strategies for addressing those needs?
  • Issue 9: Factors driving legal representation costs
    • What are the approaches to service delivery in Nunavut? What are their advantages and disadvantages?
    • What are the factors that contribute to increases in the cost of delivering criminal and civil legal aid in Nunavut?
    • Which cost drivers are unique to northern jurisdictions? If so, how?
    • How have legal aid and related service providers responded to rising costs and funding constraints?
    • What has been the impact of these responses on the level of services, the pattern of service deliver and the quality of services?
  • Issue 10: Impacts of key federal legislation, policy directions, and resource allocations on cost per case and territorial allocations of legal aid resources
    • What are the key federal and territorial drivers of legal aid costs?
    • What has been the impact of recent federal legislative, policy and funding decisions (e.g., in areas such as policing, prosecution services, diversion and community-based justice initiatives) on the cost of criminal and civil legal aid?
    • How have these changes impacted on the demand for legal advice and support, the pattern of service delivery and the quality of services?
    • What has been the impact on cost and time expenditures per case, wages and tariffs, the scheduling of resources, and the capacity to provide the resource specialists or external resources?
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