The Access to Justice & Law Reform Institute was incorporated in 2018 as a result of a transition by the Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia from a statutory body to an incorporated institute. The Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia was created in 1991 by the Government of Nova Scotia and the passing of the Law Reform Commission Act. The Commission was an advisor to the Government but not a government department. The independence of the Commission enabled it to make recommendations for law reform in a non-partisan manner.
The Institute continues to be independent of government but is no longer a statutory commission. The Institute will continue the mandate of the Commission by making recommendations for the improvement, modernization and reform of the law. The Institute will continue to make recommendations for the development of new approaches to, and concepts of law that serve the changing needs of Nova Scotian society. It will also make recommendations for the improvement and administration of justice and it will review judicial and quasi-judicial procedures.
The Institute will also be taking on access to justice projects such as #TalkJustice, formerly a project of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and the Access to Justice Coordinating Committee. The #TalkJustice project seeks to bring the voices of Nova Scotians to the center of justice reform through community engagement and the collection of first-hand experiences of those who have navigated the system. With this unique new project we hope to make the work of the Institute even more responsive to the lives and experiences of all persons in Nova Scotian.