Passed by the ISAC Board of Directors February 28, 2009
Criteria to be Considered
The primary consideration is whether the case fits into ISAC’s strategic priorities and to what extent the case would be consistent with ISAC’s Advocacy Goals. In addition, the staff will consider:
- How does the case fit with other litigation or policy development and community organizing currently underway or expected?
- Does the case raise issues that have province-wide importance? Alternatively, does the case have a potentially significant impact for a marginalized community identified as high priority in our strategic priorities, or in an important but neglected part of our constituency? (e.g. Northern Ontario)?
- Will the case have a potentially useful impact in terms of raising public awareness of issues affecting low-income people and clinics? Is it a good media sell?
- Do we have the staff and time resources to take on the case? Will it take time needed from other priority work?
- Are there other resources (CRO, other clinics or private bar pro bono services) that we could draw on to co-counsel or support this case? Alternatively, is there a more appropriate or effective referral for this case?
- What are its legal strengths and weaknesses – can it be won? If success is unlikely, are there other reasons to nonetheless take on the case?
- Are there risks associated with taking the case? Does it raise contentious issues where there is a lack of consensus in the low-income community and in clinics? What is the potential negative impact of a loss? Is there a potential negative impact on other members of the low-income community if the case wins?
- And, does the case qualify pursuant to the ISAC Financial Eligibility Policy, either on the basis of financial criteria or as an exemption?
Where the case falls within ISAC’s strategic goals, the Director of Advocacy & Legal Services has authority to accept or refuse the case.
- Where the case is contentious or there is a risk of it causing divisions in the community, and might therefore affect ISAC’s reputation in the community, staff will consult with the Board before accepting such a case.
- Where the case falls outside ISAC’s strategic priorities, and staff recommend that it should go forward, then approval from the Board (or a committee or individual designated by the Board) is required.
- Where a case that is recommended by staff falls within the strategic priorities but is expected to require such significant resources of the clinic that the strategic priorities of the Board are significantly affected, Board approval will be required.
- Where a new file is opened as an exemption to the financial criteria in the Financial Eligibility Policy, the Director of Advocacy & Legal Services must approve the decision to make the exemption and must, in accordance with that Policy, make an Exemption Report to the next meeting of the ISAC Board of Directors.