More people fend for themselves in court

In a story June 5 on the increasing number of people who represent themselves in court without a lawyer, Canadian Press interviewed two professors from York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. Fred Zemans said, “Much of the rise has been the impact of cutbacks on legal aid services and particularly the impact on women and children.” He said that even if you happen to make enough money to disqualify you for legal aid, “probably fewer than 10 per cent of Canadians can afford the cost of litigation.” Alan Young suggested a court office be created to aid lay people who wish to represent themselves. “Your minor offences, your interpersonal conflicts, your minor thefts, your minor assaults – I’ve never understood why you should have a lawyer for that,” said Young, who’s book Justice Defiled, to be released in September, talks about the need to integrate lay participation. Lawyers “have taken too large a share of the justice process and we should have maintained a community court for people to represent themselves.”

Basketball coach honoured in hometown

York University’s Bob Bain, one of Canada’s “winningest” university basketball coaches, has been honoured by the high school in Niagara Falls where he got his start, reported The Review (Niagara Falls) June 6. One of only two active Canadian Interuniversity Sport coaches with more than 600 wins, he was inducted into the Stamford Collegiate Athlete’s Wall of Fame. Bain attended the school from 1961 to 1966. “I’m so proud of that school and my heritage,” Bain said. “That was the start of it all. I loved the game.” Bain has been coach at York since 1973.

Commuter options reduce car traffic at York

In a letter to The North York Mirror June 4, Janet Lo, executive director of the Black Creek Regional Transportation Management Association, clarified that it was not ride-matching alone but a whole menu of commuter options – major transit service improvements, cycling and carpooling – that successfully reduced car traffic on York University’s campus by 4,000 daily vehicle trips in 2002 and by 3,000 daily vehicle trips in 2001. “These kinds of accomplishments are the result of successful collaboration among a range of partners including GO Transit, York University, the City of Toronto, the provincial government, local chambers of commerce as well as the Black Creek Regional Transportation Management Association,” she wrote.

Lexchin drug-bias study covered internationally

A research paper by Dr. Joel Lexchin, a professor in the School of Health Policy & Management at York’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, continues to get coverage internationally. The study, published in the May 31 British Medical Journal, found that published clinical studies sponsored by pharmaceutical firms were four times more likely to favour that firm’s products over others. Articles about the paper’s findings appeared in The New Zealand Herald May 31, in Pharma Marketletter, an independent electronic source of pharmaceutical news from around the world, and The Times (London) May 30.