Views on Access to Justice in Quebec

Vers une justice ├ęgale Legal Project at BCRC
International Journal of Community Development and Management Studies  •  Volume 6 (2022)  •  pp. 103-121

Understanding how Black people view the justice system helps in identifying some areas of friction, and thereby provides critical insights into the measures needed to improve the working and management of the justice delivery process.

Access to justice is a fundamental Canadian value. However, evidence shows that Black and racialized communities have been facing systemic racism and discrimination in all forms, and in all phases of the justice system. There is a need to study critical information regarding the inadequacies of the justice system, how they affect Black people, and what can be done to bridge the gap between Black communities and government policies in Quebec.

Through systematic race-based data collection, this study examines the perception of racial discrimination law enforcement and courts among Black communities in Quebec. Using a total sample of ninety-three (N=93) Black respondents, the study sheds light on Black people perception to identify and respond to issues of social inequities, discrimination, and racism within Quebec society. Both Likert scale and open-ended questions were asked in order to measure perception of justice accessibility, respectful interaction with law enforcement, fair procedure and outcome, language and overall perception of the justice system.

The findings indicate that respondents with personal experience with police officers are less likely perceive access to justice positively. Regardless of their demographic characteristics, the results of this study confirmed that Black people continue to experience various forms of injustice, discrimination, and unfair treatment in Quebec.

Racism affects Black Canadians at every step of the criminal justice system, from policing to pretrial detention to sentencing to prisons. To have a clearer picture of the extent and nature of anti-Black racism in the Canadian criminal justice system, the researchers adopted systematic race-based data collection. Studies similar to the current research are the key opportunity to address anti-Black racism in the justice system.

Activism (Theory and Practice)  |  Access to justice; perception; trust and confidence; race-based data collection
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