AIDWYC lends its support to legal aid boycott

Mental health lawyers have also declared their support for the boycott

By Todd Harrison

On Tuesday November 10th, 2009

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The ongoing legal aid boycott’s efforts were bolstered this morning by an announcement of support from the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC).

“AIDWYC supports this boycott because it sees the serious and chronic underfunding of the defence of criminal cases as a contributing factor in wrongful convictions,” association Board Co-President Ralph Steinberg said in a release. “The imbalance in resources between the prosecution and defence in criminal cases continues to raise the spectre of further mistakes being made in the criminal justice system, and to deny access to justice for those without resources.”

The AIDWYC’s announcement comes on the heels of an announcement by mental health lawyers that they would join the boycott later this year. Meanwhile, Legal Aid Ontario has created a Major Case Management Office to help process the kinds of cases at the centre of the boycott, while also announcing that they’ll need to lay off employees to offset a $56-million deficit.