Reforms needed for transgender people to access justice: Canadian Bar Association

Trans face justice barriers

A new study says Canada's justice system features "significant and pervasive" barriers for transgender people who encounter legal issues.

The Canadian Bar Association and the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario found that transgender people are more likely to have coexisting legal issues and are less likely to interact with the justice system.

People who took part in the study say they are reluctant to seek legal help over fears of discrimination, inadequate services or a lack of accessible transgender-specific legal information.

It says tinkering with policies and regulations is not enough and "systematic change" is needed, including on preventing harms in the first place.

The report also calls for more education on transgender identities and more support for transgender legal professionals.

It says law societies in Canada should mandate that practitioners receive at least three hours of training focused on equity and diversity.

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