Over 50 justice organizations agree to a common access to justice goal that puts user experience at the centre

David Eby
David Eby

LEADERS of BC’s key justice organizations on Wednesday joined Attorney General David Eby and Chief Justice of British Columbia Robert Bauman to mark the signing of the Access to Justice Triple Aim which will guide initiatives and reforms for making family and civil justice more accessible to British Columbians.

Each participating organization commits to a common goal to improve access to justice in BC and to action to pursue that goal. The one goal has three interrelated elements: improving access to justice at the population (or sub-population) level, improving the experience of users who need access to justice and improving costs, which includes reducing costs in other sectors because of the benefits of improved access to justice.

Access to justice is about helping people prevent, manage and solve their legal problems, not just about going to court. An example of an initiative directed at the Access to Justice Triple Aim is unbundling legal services so that more British Columbians can access the legal help they need in a way that works for them, and at a lower cost. Another example is the Family Justice Pathfinder project based in Kamloops which is working at designing a user-friendly way to connect family members experiencing separation or divorce to the information and services they need. Both initiatives focus on the needs and experiences of the user of the services.

Access to Justice BC borrowed the idea of a triple aim from the health sector, where it has been successfully used to promote innovation. Access to Justice BC is a network of people and organizations from the judiciary, the government, not-for-profit justice organizations and the public dedicated to realizing a common vision – access to justice for all British Columbians. http://accesstojusticebc.ca

Jennifer Muller, self-represented litigant and member, A2JBC Leadership Group and Steering Committee, said: “It will make a real difference for people who use the justice system that justice sector organizations are collectively committing to the Access to Justice Triple Aim. The Triple Aim pushes the system to be more attentive to the challenges and needs of single parents, like me, who have to take off time from work or travel a distance to go to court. If the Triple Aim were applied to court scheduling, wait times at the courthouse would be reduced.”

Robert Bauman, Chief Justice of B.C., Chair of Access to Justice BC, said: “A concept that originated in the health care sector, the Triple Aim tells us to innovate, to focus on the experience of people using the system, to pursue cost-effectiveness and to measure impact and progress. I believe the Access to Justice Triple Aim will help all of us who work in the justice system to focus our innovation and reform efforts on the British Columbians we serve.”

Attorney General David Eby said: “While there are three different elements to the Triple Aim, the end goal is one and the same: improve access to justice for all British Columbians. This is something that has been a key priority for our government from day one, and we are excited to be a part of this joint commitment across the justice sector. I’m proud that so many stakeholders have come together to focus on improving the experience of those who turn to the justice system, ensuring that services work for the people who need them.”