Justice Without Barriers Committee
Working Towards a Fully Accessible Justice System
The mission of the Access to Justice Board Justice Without Barriers Committee is to advocate for a fully inclusive justice system by identifying impediments that inhibit or prevent fair and equitable access to and utilization of the justice system regardless of status.
Such impediments include, but are not limited to physical barriers, language barriers, communication barriers, complex procedures, ineffective rules and inequitable treatment due to bias, implicit or not, based upon perceptions about race, gender, national origin, and other differences.
The Justice without Barriers Committee meets by conference call noon to 1:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every other month. To receive meeting notices, contact Terra Nevitt.
In 1996, the ATJ Board established two related committees. The Systems Impediments Committee was charged with identifying and removing impediments for people whose status makes it difficult or impossible to meaningfully access the justice system. 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
Mission, scope and administration of the Board
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