Rural & Remote Access to Justice: A Literature Review

This literature review provides an overview of existing reports from Canada, the United States, Australia, Finland, and Sweden on the challenges of delivering legal services in rural and remote areas. The authors note that almost 20 percent of Canadians live in rural and remote areas, and many of those people have problems when trying to access justice due to geographic isolation and the digital divide.

In addition to identifying promising practice for improving access to justice in rural and remote communities, the report concludes that there is a significant need for more research in these areas:

  • the distinction between "rural" and "remote" communities
  • understanding why people do or do not seek help in these communities
  • reaching marginalized people in these communities
  • ensuring better legal education and more professional presence
  • "place based" research to avoid urbancentric policy and legislative developments