Things could get a little hairy in Ontario law offices this week. On March 6, members of the legal community will don wigs – some traditionally judicial and others just plain wacky – to spark a dialogue about Canada’s “access to justice” crisis.
The “Flip Your Wig for Justice” campaign will also raise funds to support non-profit organizations that provide resources and access to legal support in Ontario.
Seven non-profit organizations are behind the campaign, including Canadian Civil Liberties Association in the Defense of the Wrongly Convicted and Community Legal Education Ontario.
“The access to justice crisis in Canada needs to be addressed within the halls of courtrooms, classrooms, boardrooms and around the dinner table,” said Thomas Conway, treasurer of the Law Society of Upper Canada, in a release. “[The campaign] is a great way to raise awareness of the urgent need to improve access to justice for all Canadians.”
According to the collective, of the 12 million Canadians who will experience a legal dispute or injustice in a given three year period, 65% believe nothing can be done with respect to their legal problems. Almost 40% of people with legal problems reported having other social or health related issues that they directly attributed to a justiciable problem.
At FlipYourWigForJustice.ca, members of the justice community and public can register for the campaign as a participant or in teams and collect donations. Law schools across the province, as well as several Bay Street law firms, have pledged their support.
High View Communications is handling public relations and is working to get media coverage in legal trade publications and major dailies.
“We media-trained the spokespeople, developed all the collateral and sent out some fun wigs to the media,” said Ann Gallery, president of High View Communications. “I think ‘Flip Your Wig’ has sparked some interest and dialogue, which is what it intended to do.”