Ontario’s New Children’s Lawyer – A Legal Voice For Kids

We don’t often think of children needing a lawyer, but Ontario is one of three provinces in Canada to recognize that sometimes, kids can definitely use a helping legal hand. Starting this week, Marian Jacko takes up her new post as Ontario’s next Children’s Lawyer.

What Is The Office of the Children's Lawyer?

The OCL is an independent law office consisting of lawyers and social workers. When appointed to do so by the court, the OCL provides government-paid services to independently investigate and protect the best interests of underaged children involved in legal proceedings.

Services may include legal representation or reports prepared by the social workers, but only within certain areas of law, including:

  • Child custody and access – for complex and high-conflict family law cases
  • Child protection cases – in which a child is being neglected, abused or at risk of harm
  • Estates and trusts– to guard the interests of child who are beneficiaries or registered owners of owners of such property as real estate and financial accounts
  • Civil litigation –in which children are being sued or need to sue, but have no willing or able adult to proceed with the claim on their behalf

OCLs Latest Head Lawyer

In her capacity as the province’s new Children’s Lawyer, Ms. Jacko comes equipped – four university degrees, 17 years’ experience as counsel in the OCL and a lifelong history spent helping children. She’s also an Ojibway and active member in the indigenous community – background that may provide valuable insights in cases involving vulnerable populations.

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