News: Manitoba Revises Court of Appeal and Provincial Court Rules

Written by Calvin Ediger

The Manitoba Legislature has recently passed the Court of Appeal and Provincial Court Amendment Act. The act serves to advance the cause of access to justice in Manitoba. Specifically, the act allows for the Chief Justice of Manitoba to appoint a judge to meet with the parties to attempt to settle issues on appeal before the hearing, at the request of all parties of the appeal. This aspect of the act is welcome as it allows for disputes to be settled before a full hearing, thus reducing time and cost to the parties involved.

Further, the act enshrines in law continuing education on the behalf of the judiciary in topics including systemic racism and systemic discrimination. This advancement is welcome in increasing the awareness of the judiciary to issues related to access to justice faced by ordinary Manitobans. Racism and discrimination remain a barrier that many Canadians face when trying to access justice. This was recently illustrated in Statistics Canada’s report Experiences of Serious Problems or Disputes in the Canadian Provinces. The report found that Indigenous, racialized, and Canadians with disabilities faced increase barriers when trying to access the formal justice system. These findings were further elaborated on by a series of qualitative studies undertaken by the Department of Justice. Legislative action regarding these issues in Manitoba is welcome, and hopefully represents the first step in ensuring access to justice for all Manitobans.

The views and opinions expressed in the blogs are the views of their authors, and do not represent the views of the Faculty of Law, or the University of Manitoba. Academic Members of the University of Manitoba are entitled to academic freedom in the context of a respectful working and learning environment.

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