June 17, 2020

Task force aims to help modernize justice system and role of advocates

Peter J. Osborne was interviewed in The Lawyer's Daily article "Task force aims to help modernize justice system and role of advocates". This article discusses The Advocates' Society's Modern Advocacy Task Force, and how the task force will help modernize the justice system and the role of advocates beyond COVID-19.

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“COVID-19 has provided a challenge, but also an opportunity,” said the partner at Toronto-based Lenczner Slaght. “Our goal is to look at the administration of justice from that lens, but also a broader lens. We can’t just throw out 200 years of common law jurisprudence without thinking of what’s worked and what can be improved.”

Efficiency can’t be the only measure of success, he added. Ensuring public confidence in the justice system and improving access to justice will be paramount considerations for the task force. But it will also strive to come up with recommendations that are “meaningful and manageable,” especially from a cost perspective. They could also have some impact on legal education, including training in “Zoom advocacy.”

“I think that training will have to go down to law schools,” said Osborne. “We’re all learning it’s completely different dealing with witnesses when everyone’s in different places.

“Change is coming,” he added. “Let’s be part of this discourse and ensure we end up with the best possible system.”