Chapter 6: Access to justice
Chapter 5 of this book identified three reasons why the professionalist-independent tradition complicates the efforts of legal services regulators to accomplish their public interest goals. This chapter takes up the second major problem with the tradition, which is one of unintended consequences as opposed to regulatory failure. Professionalist-independent legal services regulation seems to impede access to justice in a way that competitive-consumerist legal services regulation does not. The chapter begins by showing that high prices and lack of innovation have placed expert legal services beyond the reach of too many people in English-speaking North America. Importantly, these problems seem to be more severe in Canada and the United States than they are in the United Kingdom and Australasia. The chapter then shows how access problems might be compounded by two distinctive features of North America's professionalist-independent legal services regulation: unification of the legal profession and insulation of law firms from non-lawyer investors and partners. Comparisons are drawn with England & Wales and Australia, jurisdictions which have led the way into competitive-consumerist reform. The chapter concludes that, although regulatory reform is not a magic bullet for access to justice, there is strong evidence of a link between professionalist-independent regulation and access. ‘Access to justice’ is a concept which involves a variety of powerful ideals.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.