Legal Service Provision in Northern Canada
Summary of Research in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and the Yukon

10. INTERPLAY BETWEEN CRIMINAL AND CIVIL ISSUES

Respondents in all three jurisdictions agreed that a connection could be made between unmet need for civil legal aid, particularly in the area of family law, and demand for criminal legal aid. Common examples include the following:

  • Unresolved child custody disputes lead to abduction of the children or spousal assault.
  • Women who are unaware of or unable to access legal services for divorce, child custody, and maintenance, remain in violent relationships (the violent spouse is eventually charged with assault).
  • Frustration over the slow resolution of family or other civil law matters results in acts of mischief or impaired driving.

For a more detailed description of the extent of unmet need in family and civil law, please refer to Section 8.

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