Meet our Board of Directors: Janet McIntyre

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Posted in Latest News

Committed to promoting sound administration of justice since 1974, CIAJ prides itself on supporting the legal community at all levels. CIAJ would like to warmly thank its board members for sharing their skills and working to improve the justice system with heart and wisdom for the benefit of society as a whole. CIAJ’s actions and programs would not be possible without the dedication of these outstanding professionals. 


You joined CIAJ’s Board in October 2023. What attracted you to this organization?

It is such a great organization. I believe the CIAJ is well placed to lead important changes for access to justice in Canada and beyond and to influence the full spectrum of issues related to the evolving justice system – from how it operates; to fundamental questions of the role of justice in a democratic society including the issue of incorporating different legal traditions into the Canadian system to the role of technology and artificial intelligence in support of the delivery of justice. Justice is not to be considered in isolation. We live in a ‘law thick’ world where our legal framework works symbiotically with every aspect of our lives. CIAJ has a significant history in providing a forum for discussion and exchange well beyond formal legal circles.

What do you like most about your profession?

The possibility to make a difference in people’s lives.

What social cause(s) are you passionate about?

People focused justice and advancing access to justice for all. Further, how we might shift perspective to evolve the role of justice in order to enhance the well-being of people in all areas of their life.

Do you think that justice is evolving at the same pace as society?

Much slower.

Which piece of legislation or public debate has particularly caught your attention?

I am really interested in how we use the legislative and legal tools to advance environmental protections in land, sea and air both in terms of environmental legislation but also in the trade and economic spheres. In every legislative initiative there is a policy aspect that needs to be examined and fully aired.

I am also very curious about how AI will shift everything about the way we live.

Who is the most inspiring person or personality in your career and why?

So many.

What is the greatest challenge you have faced along the way?

Like many, juggling work and a busy family life and feeling like you are barely holding things together.

When you chose to study administration, were you thinking of pursuing a career as an advisor?

I actually studied translation, literature and later comparative Canadian literature and did not anticipate the justice and policy path I pursued. It was a fortuitous happenstance.

What else would you have liked to do if you had not become an A2J specialist?

I thought being an interpreter at the UN would be interesting, but I wasn’t very good at the simultaneous interpretation exercises.

Do you have a hobby?

Many hobbies including piano, teaching yoga, travel and hiking.

Is there a message you would like to pass on to the next generation of A2J workers?

Keep being curious.

If you could talk to yourself when you were 20 years old what would you say?

I would probably reiterate sage advice I was given in my youth—not to fret so. When one door closes another opens.

About Janet McIntyre

CIAJ Board of Directors Member since October 2023
Access to Justice Specialist; Director (Retired) Access to Justice Secretariat, Justice Canada

Janet developed her commitment to access to justice over many years at the Department of Justice Canada serving first as Policy and Legislative Advisor to the Minister of Justice and later leading teams responsible for Cabinet Affairs and for ten years Intergovernmental and External Relations. Her involvement in the National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters began in 2008.

In 2019 she helped establish the Access to Justice Secretariat and, as Director, contributed to defining its mandate and vision – one based on a people centred approach to justice. She has spoken at the United Nations and the Access to Justice Roundtables supported by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. Her background and experience have confirmed the promise that working together, justice stakeholders can support the justice systems essential to realizing access to sustainable development for all.

About the author



Since its inception in 1974, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice (CIAJ) brings together individuals and institutions involved in the administration of justice and promotes excellence through knowledge, learning and the exchange of ideas. CIAJ offers customized training and multidisciplinary programs designed for all stakeholders in the justice system, prepares reports and issues recommendations that could lay the groundwork for change.