Under The Queen’s Bench Rules, a potential litigant may, in some circumstances, obtain a waiver of court fees by obtaining a Needy Person Certificate. Needy Person Certificates are useful, but challenges exist respecting their scope and availability. This report sets out the Commission’s proposals on improving access to justice for the less advantaged members of our community through fee waivers.
Appeals to the courts from decisions directly affecting individuals are usually made by officials under statutory authorization. However, there is a lack of consistency in the form and scope of statutory appeal rights, and some statutes do not provide for appeals. The Commission makes recommendations respecting the right to appeal, grounds of appeal and structure of appeals.
This paper outlines the current issues in Needy Person Certificates, their scope and availability, and the access to justice issues that arise from different rules in different courts. The Commission cites widespread confusion about eligibility, and seeks solutions to issues regarding eligibility and personal representation, stages of the proceedings, and accessibility to the certificates.
There are two tiers in Saskatchewan administrative law appeals: all decisions may be judicially reviewed on jurisdictional issues, but only some are appealable to the courts on their merits. The Commission recommends that a standard should be established across all administrative schemes that provides a degree of uniformity while conforming to the specific needs of each tribunal.
The Law Reform Commission recommends that Saskatchewan’s jury-selection process be reformed to ensure that it draws from as wide a pool as possible and excludes as few as possible. The Saskatchewan Hospital Service Plan is an ideal source of contact information for eligible jurors. The Commission also recommends revamping the compensation scheme for juries.
In this report, the Law Reform Commission examines juror qualifications and relief, the current method of selecting jurors, payments to jurors and the enforcement of attendance, as well as the use of juries in civil trials. The Commission makes recommendations for reform in each of these areas.