Mediate BC Blog

One month since A2J Triple Aim: Let’s show mediators are walking the walk!

Posted by Walter.Brynjolfson

One month ago, 51 organizations including Mediate BC gathered to endorse the Access to Justice Triple Aim. (If you're not entirely sure what that was, you can catch up here, or click here for a primer on what is Access to Justice.) The pledge was led by Access to Justice B.C. and signed by all the big players in the B.C. justice sector, including Attorney General David Eby and Chief Justice Robert Bauman.

During the event, and shortly after, a flurry of press releases and news articles were published by Vancouver SunThe Lawyer's Dailyand Slaw, to name a few (a full list can be found at the bottom of this blog post).
Ian Mulgrew of Vancouver Sun commended the efforts of the A2J Triple Aim for providing a measurement framework for improving population access to justice, user experience, and costs, but made an all too familiar criticism: "Slogans aside... neither B.C. nor any other jurisdiction seems to be doing a very good job at finding a remedy for this [Access to Justice] disaster that has been a generation in the making."
Mulgrew's criticism has a point. Evidence is mounting that B.C. is in an Access to Justice crisis, which is precisely why a unifying measurement and goal-setting framework like the A2J Triple Aim is an important step in the right direction; and we believe mediation and collaborative dispute resolution practices are critical parts of the suite of A2J options.

How Mediators "Walk the Walk"

Mediation is, at its core, an access to justice process. Any successful mediation, regardless of a client's socio-economic status, can increase end-user satisfaction and free up court resources for issues needing judges' expertise. So long as quality is maintained, mediation is an inevitable improvement to the justice system and a major step to fulfilling at least part of the Triple Aim.
In addition to this inherent contribution, tons of you are also passionately going the extra mile and making your services accessible to various populations. Some offer intentionally low rates and others offer pro or low bono services, sliding scale or legal aid mediations. We know many of you are also out there volunteering to raise public awareness and provide resources to those in need. 
Finally, as an organization, Mediate BC currently supports several of the components of the Triple Aim (see them listed at the bottom this blog post).  
To show mediators are willing to "walk the walk" and not just "talk the talk," or to at least gauge how you feel, we would like to hear your thoughts and stories about access to justice. We know mediators are making huge contributions in B.C. and want to be able to back that up with some evidence.
We've compiled a short 5-question survey. The questions are:
1) How important is Access to Justice (A2J) to your collaborative dispute resolution practice? (multiple choice answer)
2) What does Access to Justice mean to you as a practitioner(text) 
3) What are some key ways you improve access to justice in BC according to the three elements of the A2JBC Triple Aim measurement framework (page 9)? (text)
4) What more would you like to see Mediate BC doing to take action? (text)
5) Are you a mediator or med-arb practitioner?
Let us know what you're doing to walk the walk!

Answer 5 Questions


Ways Mediate BC Supports the Triple Aim

Here are some of the ways Mediate BC currently supports various components of the A2J triple aim (on page 9 of this report):

1.2.1 People’s choice of path to justice - by outling various options to people in a conflict, e.g. on our website and by phone/email. 

1.2.2 Legal info and education needs - by providing online and over the phone info, as well as through public education efforts like our annual Conflict Resolution Week.

1.2.5 Need for consensual dispute resolution process - by providing a central place for information and finding mediators.

1.4.4 Public Confidence in social institutions - by having objectively verifiable training & experience requirements, Standards of Conduct and Complaint Process so users can be confident in the Roster Mediators, and thereby raising confidence in mediation as a viable process to resolve their conflict. 

2.2.3 User empowerment - mediation is a process that holds firm on user empowerment and decision making authority remains with the users.

2.3.4 Prevention of conflicts - by providing resources (e.g. Conflict Resolution Virtual Expo) for people to help themselves before a conflict escalades. 

2.4.3 Voice and participation - mediation allows the users to have their voices heard in the process and be able to tell their truths. Meaningful participattion is key to feeling heard. 

Our past projects that have taught us and the dispute resolution community valuable lesons in:

2.1.1 Obstacles to access (distances, technology, affordability) - through the Distance Family Mediation Project, Small Claims ODR Pilot Program, Family Sliding Scale Mediation, and Family Unbundled Legal Services Project.

1.4.6 Justice for Indigenous people - through the Aboriginal Human Rights Project


The A2J Triple Aim in the Media

Vancouver Sun


The Lawyer’s Daily

The Indo-Canadian Voice

Ming Pao Vancouver

Announcements from the Justice Sector

Access to Justice Research Network

Mental Health Review Board

Chief Justice Robert Bauman

Canadian Bar Association

Provincial Court

People’s Law School



Courthouse Libraries

Thompson Rivers University



About the Mediator Blog

Unlike the public blog, the mediator blog is specially catered to conflict resolution practitioners in BC. Topics include:

  • News & Events in BC
  • Conferences & Workshops
  • Training Opportunities
  • Latest Trends in Mediation


Looking for our other blog?

Mediate BC also has a public blog where we try to provide valuable information about effective conflict resolution.




The thoughts and opinions expressed here may change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind and a commitment to continued learning. As such, any thoughts and opinions expressed within out-of-date posts may not be the same, or even similar, to those held by contributors today.






Displayed As: 
Posts related to: Education