Lawyers to appear in court to represent ’disadvantaged’ who are denied legal aid

Alberta’s legal-aid lawyers say they will help would-be clients denied financial aid by helping them bring applications to court.

CALGARY — Alberta’s legal-aid lawyers say they will help would-be clients denied financial aid by helping them bring applications to court.

The idea is to force the Alberta government to ensure that the “disadvantaged” in the justice system get legal representation.

Ian Savage, president of the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association in Calgary, says the move will probably clog the courts, but will force the government to pay attention.

He says the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association in Edmonton will also bring applications to court.

Savage says about 60 requests for legal aid have been denied this year and he expects there could be hundreds of court applications.

The lawyers have threatened job action to try to pressure the government to provide an additional $8 million a year to fund legal aid.

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