The Department of Justice said today that lawyer John Roil will complete the external review of the province’s legal aid system that was originally being done by retired provincial court Judge John Rorke who withdrew for personal reasons.
A news release notes the legal aid review is meant to thoroughly examine the delivery of legal aid services in the province to ensure that residents have appropriate access to justice.
Areas to be reviewed include workload of staff, geographical, cultural and economic challenges to the delivery of service, the use of private counsel and an examination of the current administrative model.
Roil, who has been practicing law for 37 years, is probably best known in recent years as senior legal counsel with the Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry (the Wells Inquiry).
Following completion of that assignment, in the fall of 2011 he was appointed as Chair of the Industrial Inquiry that resulted from a lengthy work stoppage at the Voisey's Bay mine site in Labrador.
In June, the provincial government announced the Terms of Reference for the external reviews of the Sheriff’s Office and the legal aid system in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Retired RCMP Insp. Leigh DesRoches was retained for the review of the Sheriff’s Office while Rorke was to lead the legal aid review.
The review of the Sheriff’s Office is assess operations to determine best practices and to make recommendations on organizational structure and risk management. The review will also provide recommendations on the most cost-efficient alignment of resources and functions to effectively meet the requirements of the Sheriff’s Office.