ACCESS TO JUSTICE, access to our courts, access to the resolution of a dispute before a fair, impartial and independent arbiter of justice, and sound legal advice are fundamental to a free and democratic society and instill in the citizenry an understanding and commitment to the rule of law. The establishment of justice is an enduring principle set forth in the preamble to the United States Constitution and refreshes us daily in our recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance when we conclude with the words “and justice for all.”
In approaching our work, the task force was mindful of the challenges and complexity of providing recommendations for systemic change in a state as large and diverse as Ohio with 88 counties, urban and rural, and 382 local courts. However, justice is too important not to address. As Justice Scalia said this year at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), the largest funder of civil legal aid in the nation:
The American ideal is not for some justice, it is, as the pledge of allegiance says, ‘Liberty and justice for all’ or as the Supreme Court pediment has it ‘equal justice.’ I’ve always thought that’s somewhat redundant. Can there be justice if it is not equal, can there be a just society when some do not have justice? Equality, equal treatment is perhaps the most fundamental element of justice.
Full report attached;