Looking to 2025 and beyond

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Justice Canada conducted an engagement exercise to obtain feedback from non-governmental stakeholders/partners on the top challenges and/or opportunities that the justice system could face over the next 5-10 years.


Justice Canada consulted with non-governmental stakeholders/partners through a hybrid qualitative and quantitative survey format between December 2018 and February 2019. The purpose of this engagement was to: 1) identify which challenges and/or opportunities stakeholders/partners believe will affect the justice system in the next 5-10 years; and 2) identify how these issues might have differential impacts on particular groups, communities and populations in Canada. Stakeholders/partners were engaged through two rounds of feedback: the first round identified issues, and the second asked respondents to prioritize and explain the importance of these issues.

The engagement was undertaken with justice system professionals, as well as people from non-governmental and non-profit organizations who may not work on justice issues per se but on broader issues in policy areas that concern the justice system. Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) informed the research design, in that a number of stakeholders/partners were chosen because they provide services to specific groups including: women, LGBTQ2+ populations, children and youth, the elderly, people with disabilities, ethnocultural groups, Indigenous peoples, and newcomers and refugees. All geographic regions were represented in the list of invited stakeholders and both official languages were represented. In total, ninety stakeholders/partners were invited to participate and were also encouraged to distribute the invitation to colleagues within their organizations or to appropriate member organizations.

In round one, respondents (n=44) were asked to write short paragraphs identifying the three most important challenges/opportunities facing the justice system in Canada over the next 5-10 years, how such challenges would affect access to justice, and if these issues might impact a specific demographic group either positively or negatively.

In round two, respondents (n=33) were asked to specify which issues identified in round one should be prioritized and to provide more detail on the importance of these issues. This second round had two parts:

What we found

The demographic data indicate that a diverse range of stakeholders/partners participated. While respondents held a variety of professional roles, the majority of participants were executives and lawyers, and most respondents had 10 years or more of experience in their field. Key areas of expertise included access to justice, human rights, child protection, and equity issues. The populations that respondents commonly work with included women, men, low income and marginalized individuals, children and youth, and Indigenous peoples.

It should be noted that this project is part of a larger set of consultations and data collection activities intended to inform government policy regarding upcoming issues in the justice system in the medium to longer term. Input was limited since the respondents in this work were few, and reflected a small portion of justice system stakeholder groups. Finally, many of the identified issues are current concerns, not new problems, but participants believed they would likely continue to be of concern in the next 5-10 years.

For further information on the findings or method mentioned in this document, please contact the Department of Justice’s Research and Statistics Division (rsd.drs@justice.gc.ca)

Acknowledgements provided with permissionFootnote 3

Acknowledgements for Round 1

Acknowledgements for Round 2