The Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (SALI)

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By Alan Kilpatrick

This talk was presented at the 2017 Saskatchewan Library Association Conference by Alan Kilpatrick, Reference Librarian, BA, MLIS.

I am here to share a remarkable library collaboration that is going to revolutionize access to justice and legal information in this province.  The Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (SALI) is a new partnership among urban, rural, and remote libraries, justice industry stakeholders, and community organizations, working to advance access to justice for Saskatchewan residents.

The project arose in 2016 out of a discussion at the Dean’s Forum on Access to Justice and Dispute Resolution.  This is an initiative from the University of Saskatchewan that brings together justice stakeholders to discuss access to justice and to find solutions to the justice system’s inaccessibility.  During this discussion, the forum realized that serious gaps exist in the public’s access to legal information.  It is generally accepted that legal information is widely accessible through the internet.  However, many people are not aware of the wealth of resources available online.  It can be difficult to determine if online legal information is credible or reliable if you do not a background in the law.

Recognising that libraries are suited to act as intermediaries to help the public locate and identify authoritative legal information, the forum made it a priority to partner with Saskatchewan’s public libraries as a way of improving access to legal information.

Under the coordination of Brea Lowenberger, Saskatchewan’s Access to Justice Coordinator, and Beth Bilson from the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Law, a working group was formed with representatives from the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA), the Saskatoon Public Library, the Law Society Library, and the University of Saskatchewan College of Law to investigate turning this idea into reality.  PLEA, Saskatchewan’s official public legal education provider, has developed a variety of accessible legal resources and has experience partnering with public libraries to distribute legal materials.  The Saskatoon Public Library, the Law Society Library, and the College of Law Library all possess legal collections and expertise that enhance PLEA’s materials.

This working group realized it would be valuable to bring together a broader group of library and community partners.  A one day meeting was hosted in Saskatoon last September to exchange information and to discuss the role libraries might play in improving access to legal information.  Those invited included representatives from every library region in the province, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice, Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan, Community Legal Assistance Services for Saskatoon Inner City, and Saskatchewan 211.

The morning featured discussion on the access to justice crisis and potential opportunities for libraries to help improve access to legal information.  The afternoon featured break-out sessions.  Several themes emerged during the day.  They included how to collect statistics on public library patron’s legal questions, identifying opportunities for legal reference question training for library staff, and utilizing public library space to increase access to legal information.

Based on the momentum of the meeting, the attendees formally established the SALI project and embraced several next steps.

What’s next for SALI?  Key updates include a two-day conference to be held during Saskatchewan’s second annual access to justice week in October 2017.  This will continue the discussion started at the first meeting.  SALI is also began a pilot project to collect statistics regarding public library patron’s legal questions at six public library locations in May 2017.

Do you participate in improving access to legal information initiatives?  Post a link or picture on Twitter using our hashtag #SKA2J.  Want to get involved with SALI?  Contact us at sali_project@usask.ca!  You can learn more and sign up for the SALI newsletter at law.usask.ca/createjustice.

 

New Journals Issues – April 2017

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By Sarah Roussel-Lewis

The Canadian Class Action Review
Volume 12, Number 2 (2016-2017)

  • Is Class Action a Preferable Remedy for Independent Contractors? A Case Study on the Proposed Canadian Hockey League Class Action / Yaroslavna Nosikova
  • Deterring Compensation: Class Action Litigation and Damage Awards Against Corporate Defendants / Natalie Kolos
  • Class Actions, Punitive Damages, and Decreasing Consumption of Tobacco Products / Sarah Kettani
  • Class Actions and the “Mixed Law” Regimes that have Embraced them: A Comparative Reflection on Class Actions in the South African and Quebec Legal Systems / Monique Pansegrouw and Shaun E Finn
  • Class Action Case Study: From Certification to Trial in Jer v Samj / Mathew P Good
  • Celeste Poltak, Book Review of Class Actions in Context: How Culture, Economics and Politics Shape Collective Litigation by Doborah R Hensler, Christopher Hodges and Ianika Tzankova (2017) 12:2 CCAR 281

 

Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Volume 59, Number 2 (April 2017)

  • Medicinal Marijuana Production Creates Problem Residential Properties: A Routine Activity Theory Explanation and a Situational Crime-Prevention Solution / Joseph Clare, Len Garis, and Paul Maxim
  • “I’ve Lost Some Sleep Over It”: Secondary Trauma in the Provision of Support to Older Fraud Victims / Cassandra Cross
  • When Is a “War” a “Wave?” Two Approaches for the Detection of Waves in Gang Homicides / Martin Bouchard and Sadaf Hashimi
  • L’art de raconteur une bonne histoire : analyse de la couverture médiatique des gangs de rue é la television et sur les plateformes numériques de Radio-Canada / Patricia Brosseau et Jean-Pierre Guay
  • Crime Seasonality across Multiple Jurisdictions in British Columbia, Canada / Shannon J. Linning, Martin A. Anderson, Amir H. Ghaseminejad, and Paul J. Brantingham

 

Estates Trusts & Pensions Journal
Volume 36, Number 2 (February 2017)

  • Cross Border Ownership of Vacation Property: Canada and the United States / Alison Minard and Stephanie Gabor
  • Not Doing Badly: How the Registered Disability Savings Plan Can Help / Troy McEachren and Christos Panagopoulos
  • Doesn’t Travel Well: Cross-Border Estate Planning in Canada and the U.S. / Jeffrey Talpis
  • Drafting and Attacking a Charging Clause in a Will / C.D. Freedman
  • Target Benefit Plans in Canada / Jana Steele

 

UBC Law Review
Volume 50, Number 1 (February 2017)

  • Set-Off & Security Interests / Clayton Bangsund
  • Case Comment on Goodwin v British Columbia (Superintendent of Motor Vehicles), 2015 SCC 46: Reviewing the Consequences of a Search or Seizure in Administrative Regimes / Shea Coulson
  • The Public Right to Fish and the Triumph of Colonial Dispossession in Ireland and Canada / Sarah E. Hamill
  • Re-Imagining Indigenous Peoples’ Roles in National Resource Development Decision Making: Implementing Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Canada Through Indigenous Legal Traditions / Grace Nosek
  • Legislative Comment: Family Property Division Under the Family Law Act 2011 / Kathryn O’Sullivan
  • Awakening Section 8 in Wakeling: Legal Implications on Wiretaps, Intercepts, Intelligence Sharing and Beyond

Access to Legal Information Innovation in Saskatchewan

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By Alan Kilpatrick

This talk was presented at the 2017 Saskatchewan Library Association Conference and the 2017 Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference by Alan Kilpatrick, Reference Librarian, BA, MLIS.

Introduction

We all know that access to justice in Canada is inadequate.  Over 12 million Canadians will experience at least one legal problem in a three-year period.  Unfortunately, legal services are becoming increasingly inaccessible.  Our justice system has been described as too complex, slow, and expensive.  The justice system, overwhelmed by the increase in those representing themselves (self-represented litigants), is not meeting the needs of all Canadians.

A major barrier to accessing justice you may not be aware of is the inaccessibility of legal information.  Having access to legal information enables people to identify the full range of legal options available to them.  In some cases, having access to legal information allows people to resolve legal problems outside the court system altogether.  To improve access to justice, we first need to improve access to legal information.

A variety of organizations, such as the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Family and Civil Matters for example, have recognized gaps in the public’s access to information about the law.  At a time when legal information is readily available online, gaps still exist.  Not all Canadians have access to the internet and it can be extremely challenging to determine if online legal information is credible, reliable, or up to date.  There is a confusing lack of coordination among the organizations that provide public legal information and a strong need for intermediaries to guide the public to trustworthy sources of legal information.

This is exactly where the Law Society Library’s interest in legal information innovation developed.  Read the rest of this entry »

Saskatchewan Legislative Update

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The following regulations were published in The Saskatchewan Gazette, Part II, Vol. 113 No. 18, May 5, 2017:

  • E-0.011 Reg 2 The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program Application Fee Regulations
  • SR 35/2017 The Coroners Amendment Regulations, 2017
  • SR 36/2017/ The Jury Amendment Regulations, 2017
  • RS 36/2017 Règlement modificatif de 2017 sur le jury
  • SR 37/2017 The Driver Licensing and Suspension (Miscellaneous) Amendment Regulations, 2017
  • SR 38/2017 The Vehicle Impoundment (General) Amendment Regulations, 2017

Saskatchewan Law Review 2017 #80-1

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Did you know that the Saskatchewan Law Review is available in fulltext for members on the Law Society’s website since 2013? The current issue, volume 80, issue no. 1 (2017) is now available. Articles in this issue include:

TED-X Talk at the Regina Public Library

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By Alan Kilpatrick

On March 23, the Regina Public Library (RPL) held a TED Talk, TEDxRPLCentralLibrary at the RPL Film Theatre. TED Talks bring together diverse speakers and groups of people to connect and to discuss exciting and emerging ideas in the world today. TEDx Talks are independently organized and hosted TED events. If you are not familiar with the TED phenomenon, check out this video.

The TEDxRPLCentralLibrary website explained the theme of the event,

A library is place of connections – connections to learning, to language, to new experiences and new people. Engage is the action taken after you make a connection. It can also mean attract, occupy, involve, participate, pledge to do something; it’s the word said at the start of a swordfight and the one famously used by Captain Picard of the Starship Enterprise. At TEDxRPLCentralLibrary, we’re asking you to not just make a connection but to engage: with each other, with learning, with health, with creativity, with technology, with history, with the future, with the environment, and with ideas –new and old, big and small.

What better place to connect and engage than TEDxRPLCentralLibrary?  After all, the library is the natural place to learn about new ideas.

 

 

 

 

Free Family Law Assistance Clinics – Saskatoon

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

This week, Family Law Saskatchewan will be hosting  free family law clinics for the public in Saskatoon on Thursday, May 18   from 2:00 to 4:00 at the Round Prairie Branch and from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at the Cliff Wright Branch.  A session will also be held on Friday, May 19  from 9:30 – 11:30 am at the Law Society Library, Court of Queen’s Bench:

  • Are you applying to court for child support, custody/access or divorce?
  • Do you need help with the court forms and process?
  • Do you wonder if you have options to going to court?

Family Law Saskatchewan can help answer your questions, and use the court forms available on Family Law Saskatchewan (PLEA).

There is no cost to attend and no registration is required.

More information:

Law Society Library Saskatoon
Saskatoon Public Library