First for Self-represented Litigants in Saskatchewan – The Lawyers Weekly

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By Alan Kilpatrick

The April 24th, 2015 issue of The Lawyers Weekly highlights an important step forward for self-represented litigants in Saskatchewan.  Members of the Law Society of Saskatchewan access the online edition of The Lawyer’s Weekly for free through the Members’ Section.

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This past March, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal awarded a self-represented litigant named Kevin Hope with costs beyond out-of-pocket expenses in Hope v Pylypow, 2015 SKCA 26.  The article explains that:

The March 27 decision, in Hope v. Pylypow [2015] S.J. No. 122, written by Chief Justice Robert G. Richards, reflects the continuing effort by courts across Canada to level the playing field for self-represented litigants and brings Saskatchewan in line with other provinces. Self-represented litigants have traditionally been compensated only for their out-of-pocket expenses if they win a case.

In the written decision, the judge clarified his reasoning behind awarding costs beyond out-of-pocket expenses:

[54] …the time has come to review and update the governing principles in this area. There are problems with the established Saskatchewan approach to costs awards involving self-represented litigants. It is important that our practice be brought into line with the one used in other Canadian jurisdictions.

In the article, Kara-Dawn Jordan, the Executive Director of Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan, stated that the Appeal Court decision was a significant milestone for self-represented litigants in Saskatchewan, and expressed her satisfaction with the outcome: “I was really happy to see that they did pay some attention to the work that the self-represented litigant was doing on his own…”

Sources

CanLII. (2015, March 27). Hope v Pylypow, 2015 SKCA 26. Retrieved from http://canlii.ca/t/ggwxh.

The Lawyers Weekly. (2015, April 24). First for Self-represented Litigants in Saskatchewan. Retrieved from http://www.lawyersweekly.ca.

 

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