Access to Justice Week Highlight – Access to Justice in Civil and Family Law

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By Brea Lowenberger, Access To Justice Coordinator
University of Saskatchewan, College of Law

On Tuesday, October 25th, The Honourable Mr. Justice Cromwell, recently retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, will be presenting “Movement on Access to Justice or An Access to Justice Movement? Where Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters Goes from Here”.

  • Time: 7:00 pm
  • Location: Neatby Timlin Theatre, Room 241, Arts Building, University of Saskatchewan
  • Target Audience: All welcome
  • Host: Board of Editors for the Saskatchewan Law Review, The 19th Annual Saskatchewan Law Review Lecture

The Honourable Mr. Justice Cromwell is chair of the National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters which is focused on fostering engagement, pursuing a strategic approach to reforms and coordinating the efforts of all participants concerned with civil justice. Please see the Action Committee’s website and the Committee’s report, “Access to Civil and Family Justice: A Roadmap for Change” for more information.

a2jweek2Similarly, the Canadian Bar Association’s Reaching Equal Justice Report: An Invitation to Envision and Act called for taking steps to reforms in all areas of the justice system that would improve accessible justice for Canadians.

Members of the justice system in Saskatchewan have responded.  Infrastructure has been created to support reform efforts in our province – in 2013, the Dean’s Forum on Dispute Resolution and Access to Justice was created, in 2015 an Access to Justice Coordinator Position was created, and in 2016, the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group was created. Numerous initiatives are being implemented to help improve access to justice for Saskatchewan residents.

For example, in Saskatchewan, several initiatives have been developed to assist in the area of family law. The Family Matters program is a Government of Saskatchewan program aimed at minimizing the impact of separation and divorce on all family members by providing:

  • Information and resources to deal with a changing family situation; and
  • Assistance to resolve urgent and outstanding issues.

For more information, please visit the Family Matters website.

PLEA offers the website, Family Law Saskatchewan, to provide information on a wide range of family law topics, such as grounds for divorce, child and spousal support, and property division. The site also contains a Form Wizard to assist users in creating completed family law court forms. To provide further assistance, PLEA and Pro Bono Students Canada have partnered to provide family law help to the public at the PLEA offices in Saskatoon. Please see our recent post for more information.

Last, but certainly not least, the Family Law Information Centre offers free family law assistance sessions for the public every Wednesday morning between 9:30 – 11:30 at the Regina branch of the Law Society Library. Sessions are also held on a regular basis in Sasaktoon at the Law Society Library and Saskatoon Public Library. Please check back for updates on future dates.

These initiatives and many others will be highlighted in “A Spotlight on Saskatchewan Access to Justice Initiatives” starting on the launch day of Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week, with downloadable Awareness Campaign “cards” that we invite you to distribute broadly.  Above is a “sneak-peek” of the campaign cards, an invitation from CBA Saskatchewan to read the Reaching Equal Justice report and join the conversation and action to improve access to justice for Saskatchewan residents…

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