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Canada chief justice: public access to courts must be increased
Max Slater at 10:57 AM ET
Access to legal services, particularly for low-income individuals and families, has been a contentious issue worldwide. Last week the Supreme Court of India ruled [JURIST report] that defendants are entitled to legal representation at all courts, not just at the trial level. In March JURIST guest columnist Robert Westley argued [JURIST op-ed] that a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] upholding the Washington state's cut to a food aid program for legal immigrants is a prime example of how constitutional formalism justifies leaving some members of the political community without the basic necessities. In February 2011 the Supreme Court of India held[JURIST report] that criminal defendants have a right to counsel under the Indian Constitution, regardless of their ability to pay.
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