Everyday Legal Problems and the Cost of Justice in Canada: Overview Report

This report summarizes the findings from a national random sample telephone survey of over 3,000 Canadians conducted by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice in 2013-2014. According to the researchers, "the purpose of the study was to examine the nation's experience with the justice system, and in particular, the kinds, methods of dealing with, and costs associated with everyday legal problems in Canada". The research found that almost half of Canadians will experience at least one legal problem that they consider serious in a given three-year period - and 30% will experience two or more problems. However, only 19 percent of these people obtain legal advice, and only seven percent will end up appearing in front of a court or tribunal to resolve the problem. The findings suggest that more people avail themselves of informal strategies such as talking to friends and family, contacting the other party directly, looking online for help, or getting help from a non-legal organization.

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice also created an infographic highlighting the results (see below), and released fuller survey data in 2018.