International Access to Justice Online Forum

Learn about the latest developments, innovations and practical solutions designed to address barriers to access to justice.

Recent events have made ensuring access to justice more challenging than ever before. And it’s never been more critical.

Victoria Law Foundation and UCI Law Civil Justice Research Initiative bring you to the International Access to Justice Online Forum 2022.

Hear from leading experts from Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom on contemporary access to justice issues.

Recordings available below.

Download the program

We are delighted to reveal the full program for the Forum, including bios about each of our speakers.

Day one

What’s happening and what’s next?

Australia: Wednesday 30 March 2022
United States: Tuesday 29 March 2022

Legal tech and access to justice

In recent years, legal tech has gone through rapid growth and exerts increasing influence across all areas of law. This session explores what this might mean for access to justice.


  • Bridgette Toy-Cronin, Director of the Civil Justice Centre, Co-Director of the Otago Centre for Law and Society and Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago, Faculty of Law
  • Margaret Hagan Executive Director of the Legal Design Lab, Stanford University
  • Richard Rogers, Acting Chair, Civil Resolution Tribunal, British Columbia

Facilitated by Lynne Haultain, Executive Director, Victoria Law Foundation

Deregulation of the legal profession

The opportunities and challenges associated with deregulation of legal activity continue to form a central part of contemporary access to justice debates. Will it make legal advice more available, or does it risk poor advice and bad outcomes for people? This session explores recent issues and where we might be going next.


  • Julian Webb, Professor of Law, University of Melbourne
  • Rebecca L. Sandefur, Professor, Arizona State University

Facilitated by Emily Taylor Poppe, Assistant Professor of Law, Irvine School of Law, University of California

Making administrative data smarter

Administrative data continues to play an important role in how we understand how people interact with the justice system. This session looks at whether this data is it fulfilling its potential, and how we might we make it smarter.


  • Delphine Bellerose, Senior Researcher, Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales
  • Natalie Byrom, Director of Research, The Legal Education Foundation
  • Dalié Jiménez, Professor of Law, UC Irvine School of Law

Facilitated by Hugh McDonald, Principal Researcher, Victoria Law Foundation

Day two

Inequality and access to justice

Australia: Thursday 31 March 2022
United States: Wednesday 30 March 2022

Legal need, empowerment and older people

The voices of older people, and their experience of and response to life problems can be overlooked in access to justice debates. This session focuses specifically on older people, their legal need, and how they might be empowered.


  • Frances Batchelor, Acting Director of the National Ageing Research Institute and Senior Principal Research Fellow
  • Susannah Sage Jacobson, Research Associate, University of South Australia
  • Eileen Webb, Professor of Law and Ageing, University of South Australia
  • Katherine C. Pearson, Professor of Law, Arthur L. and Sandra S. Piccone Faculty Scholar, Dickinson Law, Pennsylvania State University

Facilitated by Ian Yates AM, Chief Executive of Council on the Ageing (COTA) Australia

Culturally appropriate service design and delivery

Much access to justice research has reinforced that one size of service design rarely fits all, particularly for First Nations peoples. This session presents perspectives on getting it right for culturally diverse communities.


  • Lee-Anne Carter, Statewide Community Justice Program Leader, Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service
  • Karen Drake, Associate Professor and Associate Dean (Students), Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Mihiata Pirini, Law lecturer, University of Otago

Facilitated by Melanie Schwartz, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law and Justice, UNSW Sydney

Courts and COVID-19

Courts have gone through massive change as a result of COVID-19, some planned, if significantly accelerated, much imposed. This session explores what this means for access to justice.


  • Alyx Mark, Assistant Professor of Government, Wesleyan University
  • Jane Cipants, Director Client Service, Legal Aid NSW
  • Rob Hoyles, Director of Criminal Law, Legal Aid NSW
  • Bonnie Hough, Principal Managing Attorney, Center for Families, Children & the Courts of the Judicial Council of California

Facilitated by Peter Noble, Executive Director, Regions and Service Delivery, Victoria Legal Aid

Day three

Current issues and responses

Australia: Friday 1 April 2022
United States: Thursday 31st March 2022

Climate change and legal need

The climate crisis is upon us and there is increasing effort around the world to scope its intersection with access to justice. This session looks at how climate change relates to and creates legal need, and what responses might look like.


  • Hannah Perls, Staff Attorney, Environmental & Energy Law Program, Harvard Law School
  • Sharon Keith, Program Manager, Disaster Legal Help Victoria
  • Elizabeth Humphrys, Senior Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney

Facilitated by Monica Taylor, Lawyer and PhD candidate, Queensland University of Technology

The role of legal education and access to justice

There is perennial interest in the utility of legal education – what kind of profession are we creating with what outlook and expectations. This session explores the extent to which legal education meets access to justice needs – what’s working well, what isn’t and where we’re headed.


  • Kathryne Young, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Massachusetts
  • Anna E. Carpenter, Professor of Law, S.J. Quinney College of Law
  • Jeff Giddings, Professor and Associate Dean (Experiential Education), Monash Faculty of Law
  • Louisa Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer, Federation of Community Legal Centres

Facilitated by Melissa Castan, Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Associate Dean (Staffing), Law Faculty, Monash University

Looking to the future

The crystal ball. Our final session asks leading thinkers in access to justice to look into the future: what are the big ideas and the major hurdles?


  • Dame Hazel Genn, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, Faculty of Laws at UCL and Director of the UCL Centre for Access to Justice
  • Suzie Forell, Research Director, Health Justice Australia
  • Geoff Mulherin, Former Director of Law and Justice Foundation of NSW
  • Emily Taylor Poppe, Assistant Professor of Law, Irvine School of Law, University of California
  • Trevor C. W. Farrow, Professor and former Associate Dean, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University
  • Rebecca L. Sandefur, Professor, Arizona State University

Facilitated by Nigel Balmer, Research Director, Victoria Law Foundation