Poverty and Access to Justice


February 3, 2022


Ireland Bellsmith, Olivia Goertzen, Kia Neilsen, Olivia Stinson



Poverty and Access to Justice

This report presents an overview of recent research and general information gathered from persuasive articles, publications, and research studies on the topic of poverty in Canada and its implications and influence on access to justice. By evaluating different areas of justice and legal proceedings, we seek to identify emerging themes in research and analyze effective practices and those that appear to fall short. Thus far, evident themes between poverty and access to justice include unsatisfactory victim experience, conditions leading to incarceration despite the availability of alternatives, lack of legal awareness within communities, and problematic disempowerment. While current practices and legislation have sought to address these obstacles inherent to the Canadian justice system, we suggest that the circumstances of poverty continue to impede equal access to justice in a number of ways and recommend that further research be conducted to evaluate best practices.


Ireland Bellsmith

Olivia Goertzen

Kia Neilsen

Olivia Stinson

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