How Ontarians Experience the Law: An Examination on Incidence Rate, Seriousness and Response to Legal Problems
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Access to civil justice is a conceptual framework that, at its most basic, claims all people are entitled to have their legal disputes resolved fairly. However, it is currently understood that these ideals are not reflected in the day-to-day realities of ordinary people. Though scholarship has examined ways in which to better allow for meaningful access to civil justice, there is still a need for further quantitative research especially from the Canadian perspective. This paper provides an empirical foundation to this discussion by examining the 2014 Cost of Justice project survey. Specifically, it examines the incidence rate of civil legal problems, responses to legal problems, and costs of legal problems among Ontarians. The paper concludes by situating these findings into the legal consciousness framework so as to understand how Ontarians experience the law and how that may assist in providing meaningful access to justice reforms.