Posted by: Ray Brescia | October 20, 2016

Access to Justice as a Constitutional Imperative

In November 2017, the voters of the state of New York will decide whether to hold a constitutional convention to revise the state’s constitution.  The New York State Bar Association, in conjunction with the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, recently published a collection of essays on this subject: Making a Modern Constitution: The Prospects for Constitutional Reform in New York, edited by Scott Fein and Rose Mary Bailly.  (Get the book here.)   I was honored to submit a chapter in the collection that explores the legal and policy arguments for an amendment to the state constitution to recognize an explicit right to counsel in civil cases where fundamental human needs are at stake.  Such a constitutional right would be the first recognized in a state constitution in the United States and could lead the way for more states to do the same.  The chapter attempts to articulate the legal and policy arguments for doing so.  Read the chapter here.

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