Justice Without Barriers Committee
Working Towards a Fully Accessible Justice System
Ensure a fully inclusive justice system by identifying and removing impediments to accessing and using the justice system, including physical, language, and communication barriers, and barriers resulting from ineffectual rules, complex procedures, disparate treatment based on a protected class, racial inequity, and any other obstacles that may create impediments to achieving equal and meaningful access to justice.
The Committee oversees the work of four sub-committees:
In 1996, the ATJ Board established two related committees: the Systems Impediments Committee, which was charged with identifying and removing impediments for people whose status makes it difficult or impossible to meaningfully access the justice system; and the Status Impediments Committee, charged with identifying judicial, legislative, and administrative systems impediments to access and recommending and implementing changes to those systems. In 2000, the ATJ Board consolidated these two committees into one standing committee, the Impediments to Access to Justice Committee. In recent years, the Impediments Committee has substantially focused its efforts on addressing barriers to the justice system for people with disabilities, which has resulted in three significant initiatives:
In May 2009, the ATJ Board established a priority to address barriers facing pro se individuals in the justice system. Given the similarity of focus between this Committee and the ATJ Board’s Pro Se Committee, the two committees have merged into the Justice Without Barriers Committee. The merged committee will continue with current initiatives; it also is overseeing the ATJ Board’s new Pro Se Project, a joint initiative with the Office of Administrative Hearings and the Administrative Office of the Courts, and which has been supported with funds from the Supreme Court.
Hon. Greg Sypolt, Spokane County Superior Court
Josefina Ramirez, Northwest Justice Project
© 2015 Washington State Bar Association, all rights reserved.