Access to justice | Quebec wants to increase the scope of practice of lawyers in NPOs

(Quebec) Simon Jolin-Barrette wishes to broaden the field of practice of lawyers and notaries who practice within non-profit organizations (NPOs) in order to ensure better access to justice at a low cost.

Posted at 4:36 p.m.

Hugo Pilon Larose

Hugo Pilon Larose
The Press

In Bill 34, tabled Tuesday at the Salon Bleu, the Minister of Justice proposes to allow lawyers working in NPOs, such as legal clinics, to offer “legal advice and opinions as well as representing a client or client at court. For now, they can only provide legal information.

“Citizens who need them will thus be able to have access to more services within non-profit legal persons. The bill also proposes to involve retired lawyers, so that they can offer such legal services within these organizations”, specifies Mr. Jolin-Barrette.

“This legislative proposal provides that lawyers and notaries working within non-profit legal persons (PMSBL) will henceforth be able to offer legal advice, free of charge or at low cost, to citizens who, without such support, do not have sufficient financial means to assert their rights or defend themselves,” adds the Barreau du Québec.

A busy spring

However, this new bill by Mr. Jolin-Barrette adds to the government’s heavy legislative menu between now and the end of the parliamentary session, which will also mark the end of the work between now and the general election on 3 next October. In recent days, opposition parties have notably raised concerns about the future of the family law reform bill, while its adoption is uncertain.

At a press conference on Tuesday, the Minister of Justice affirmed that the opposition parties should speed up the study of another bill, this one reforming the Charter of the French language, in order to adopt the reform of the right to the family on time.

According to Mr. Jolin-Barrette, the two imposing reforms – that of Bill 101 and that of family law – “should be adopted by the end of the legislature, but there is no question of using the procedure legislative exception” to do so, that is to say the gag.

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