Seven Years of Accessible Justice: A Critical Assessment Of Hryniak V. Mauldin’s Culture Shift
In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada sought to address the inaccessibility of public adjudication for “ordinary Canadians” by introducing a culture shift to civil litigation. This culture shift required participants in the civil justice system to stop viewing trial as the default adjudication method and expand use of summary judgment. In this article, I critically evaluate the Supreme Court’s reasoning for the culture shift from a jurisprudential perspective and quantitatively evaluate the endeavour’s success. I find that Alberta courts have misapplied the culture shift contrary to the Supreme Court’s intentions, that the culture shift is being implemented only on a limited basis, that summary judgment is no more accessible for ordinary Canadians, and that fairness and justice are not being preserved. I provide recommendations for alternate methods to address the accessibility problem.
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