The next ACDS/CLSA Early Scholar Showcase and Social will be held on Zoom on December 10, 2021, at 3:00 – 4:30 PM EST. With the Omicron variant upon us, I suspect we are all in need of some joy, so the event will be holiday themed featuring a work-in-progress presentation from Jérémy Boulanger-Bonnelly (SJD candidate at University of Toronto) on the ‘holidayest’ topic possible: public legal expenses insurance! Feel free to dress up in your most festive attire (I—Josh Shaw—will be donning my ugliest holiday sweater and antlers). After the presentation and Q&A we will chat casually amongst ourselves about our research, the things we are reading and the trials and tribulations of graduate studies.
Join us at this casual get-together with fellow graduate students researching law and society. Be sure to re-subscribe to the ACDS/CLSA for 2022 (https://www.acds-clsa.com/store/c5/Membership_2022.html) and bring friendly colleagues (and encourage them to join!).
The event will be held by Zoom, and the details are below:
Joshua Shaw is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: CLSA Early Scholar Showcase and Social
Time: Dec 10, 2021 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 981 6519 4195
Details about the talk are below:
Name: Jérémy Boulanger-Bonnelly
Status of studies: SJD Candidate
Association: University of Toronto Faculty of Law
Title of work-in-progress: The Case for Public Legal Expenses Insurance
Abstract: Civil justice faces an accessibility crisis. The rising costs of legal services are prohibitive for the middle class, and legal aid schemes are unable to close the gap. With the increased caseload anticipated to result from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is time to revisit one solution which, despite its successes, remains relatively unpopular, i.e. public legal expenses insurance (“LEI”).
The literature already establishes that legal risks are insurable and that LEI can be viable, but I want to approach the question from a different angle. My argument is that a comparison between LEI and public health insurance schemes—which are more widespread and arguably better accepted—shows that there is no principled reason for insuring health risks but leaving legal risks behind.
The argument develops in three steps. First, building on my previous research comparing access to healthcare and access to justice, I will argue that health and legal risks are comparable in nature and in their potential consequences for individuals, and therefore that the rationale for providing health insurance also applies to LEI. Second, I will argue that the commitment to equality which underlies public health insurance schemes also applies in the legal sphere and, as a result, that that commitment similarly justifies the development of public LEI. Lastly, I will nuance the comparison by pointing out differences between health and legal risks, including the relational and correlative nature of the latter, and the impact of those differences on the implementation of LEI.
Joshua Shaw and Alexandra Bahary
ACDS/CLSA Graduate Student Reps
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