ClickLaw BC – Improving Access to Justice for Self-Represented Litigants

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By Alan Kilpatrick

What is ClickLaw?  ClickLaw is a website for the British Columbia public that enhances access to justice.  It is a one-stop resource connecting the public with reliable plain-language legal information, trustworthy legal education, and places to go for legal assistance.  ClickLaw does link to some cases and laws.  However, this is not the main purpose of the site.  Its main purpose is to help the public solve common legal problems and find help.

The site is organized with simplicity and browsing in mind.  One great feature is the help map.  Members of the public can locate legal assistance in their own community by searching the helpmap by topic, keyword, or location.

Over 25 organizations in BC contribute to ClickLaw.  What is great is that contributors manage their own content on ClickLaw.  CLBC is just the coach.  ClickLaw’s Program Coordinator, Audrey Jun, recently won a prestigious award for ClickLaw, the McMillian Award for Innovation in Court Technology.  The site has been recognized as a potential solution to access to justice problems for self-represented litigants.

A key component of ClickLaw is the ClickLaw Wikibooks.  These are collaboratively developed wikibooks, aimed at the public, covering a wide variety of common legal topics in plain language.

Members of the public will find these books accessible and easy to use: they are freely available online, printable, fully searchable, and downloadable in a variety of e-formats.  The books are kept accurate and up-to-date by their contributors.  As the books are in wiki format, they can be easily updated to reflect changes in the law.  This is ideal because Canadian law is always evolving.

Some of the most popular ClickLaw Wikibook titles include JP Boyd on Family Law, Legal Help for British Columbians, Learning about the Law, and The Beginners Guide to Finding Legal Information: A How-To for Legal Research and Representing Yourself in Court in British Columbia.

 

Resources Consulted

About Clicklaw (http://www.clicklaw.bc.ca/content/about)

Clicklaw Wikibooks (http://wiki.clicklaw.bc.ca/index.php/Clicklaw_Wikibooks)

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