Duty Counsel Day statement from Alaina Botham, executive director, Canadian Bar Association Northwest Territories Branch
Today, on Canada’s inaugural Duty Counsel Day, I am pleased to bring greetings from Yellowknife, which is situated on the traditional territories and homeland of the Dene, Inuit and Métis peoples of the Northwest Territories.
As we take this time to celebrate duty counsel lawyers across Canada, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you for your ongoing contributions to improve access to justice for some of Canada’s most vulnerable citizens and residents.
In the Northwest Territories there are 10 staff lawyers and one outreach lawyer who work as duty counsel, and 7 private bar lawyers who accept Duty Counsel assignments.
These hard-working people provide over 4,000 duty counsel services per year, and we are grateful for their commitment to our communities.
Access to Justice is a top priority of the Canadian Bar Association. Our vision is an inclusive justice system that is equally accessible to all, regardless of means, capacity or social situation.
And yet we know that many people in Canada do not have access to the legal help they need.
Those who work in Duty Counsel go above and beyond every day to fill that gap.
Please know that you have an ally in the Canadian Bar Association, advocating for the sustainable systems and funding you need to serve Canadians.