access to justice

Access to Justice Bulletin, November 2017

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From the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group

Support CLASSIC by purchasing tickets for the inaugural “Cirque de CLASSIC” Fundraiser being held on January 19 in Saskatoon:

Public, justice, healthcare, and library sectors come together for access to justice solutions:

ADR Institute of Canada National Introductory Arbitration Training Course being held on November 14, 15, 16, 29 and 30 in Saskatoon:

Saskatchewan may regulate paralegals to solve ‘access to justice crisis,’ says scholar:

Free Family Law Assistance during November in Saskatoon:

Join Indigenous Rights lawyer and Managing Partner at Olthuis, Kleer, Townshend LLP Renée Pelletier on November 21 in Saskatoon for her talk on “Practicing Law with Indigenous Peoples – from an Indigenous Perspective”:

Justice Canada fact sheets on child support, divorce, and spousal support now available in 14 different languages:

Young lawyer sets up practice in law library and charges minimal fee to help those who cannot afford it to get legal help they need:

Latest edition of Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society magazine highlights #TalkJustice, an access to justice initiative that brings public voice to justice reform:

On October 31, U of S College of Law Professor Wanda Wiegers presented at Kent Law School in the United Kingdom on “Child Welfare Regimes in Two Provincial Jurisdictions in Canada”.

Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System announces first-of-its-kind study that asks clients about their experience with lawyers in order to improve user experience:



Access to Justice Bulletin, October 2017

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From the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group


The Second Annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week was held October 16-21. Thank you to to the week’s contributors and participants. View highlights from the week below.

A2J Week SK makes an impact on each of Canada’s Justice Development Goals – By Sarah McCoubrey, Action Committee Liaison (October 6):

Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week Proclaimed by Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan (October 16):

The Lawyer’s Daily on Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week (October 16):

During Access to Justice Week, CLASSIC invites consideration of what “Access to Justice” means – By Chantelle Johnson, Executive Director, CLASSIC (October 17):

A Spotlight on Access to Justice Champions – By Alex Santos, Pro Bono Students Canada Program Coordinator, College of Law Student (October 18):

Access to Justice Week on CTV News Saskatoon (October 19):

The Promise of Justice and Health Partnerships – By Erin Wolfson, Community Engagement Specialist, Division of Social Accountability, College of Medicine (October 19):

Happy First Birthday CREATE – By Hon. Thomas Cromwell, Chair, Action Committee of Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters & CREATE Justice Honourary Fellow (October 20):

Free Legal Resource Fair During Saskatchewan’s Second Annual Access to Justice Week – By Alan Kilpatrick, Reference Librarian, Law Society Library (October 23):

College of Law Students’ Small Urban and Rural Committee (SURC) Annual Rural Firm Tour Held During Access to Justice Week – By Student Leaders of SURC (October 24):

Ontario’s Second Annual Access to Justice Week Launches as Saskatchewan’s Ends – By Sabreena Delhon, Manager of External Engagement and TAG at the Law Society of Upper Canada (October 25):

Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Conference – By Melanie Hodges Neufeld, Director of Legal Resources, Law Society of Saskatchewan:

Have ideas for the next Access to Justice Week? Contact




Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Conference

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld, Director of Legal Resources
Law Society of Saskatchewan

On October 20-21, 2017, the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (SALI) presented the Conference on the Role of Legal Information Providers and Public Libraries in Promoting Access to Justice at the College of Law. The conference brought together legal scholars, library science scholars, legal information providers, and public library representatives from urban, rural, and remote areas of Saskatchewan to discuss the role of librarians in improving access to legal information. The conference was oriented towards developing actionable strategies for making legal information more accessible through public libraries.

Through a series of panels and keynotes speakers targeted to specific questions, the conference explored themes including:

  1. Increasing general public awareness of access to justice issues and the role of libraries;
  2. Determining the differences between legal information and legal advice;
  3. Identifying existing legal information resources and gaps;
  4. Discussing how physical and online library spaces can be used to increase access to legal information;
  5. Increasing empirical information on patrons’ and librarians’ legal information needs.

Each session was followed by small group discussions intended to identify concrete next steps in taking action towards the larger issue of access to legal information.

The Law Society is a proud partner in the SALI project and sees great potential ahead. Please stayed tuned to our blog and future editions of the Benchers’ Digest for updates on the progress of this project.

For more information about the SALI Project, please visit the Create Justice website and see the article Putting the Public First: Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project from the Winter, 2016 issue of the Benchers’ Digest at page 6.

Ontario’s Second Annual Access to Justice Week Launches as Saskatchewan’s Ends

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By Sabreena Delhon, Manager of External Engagement and TAG at the Law Society of Upper Canada

As Saskatchewan’s second annual Access to Justice Week ends, this week marks the second annual Access to Justice Week in Ontario. Organized by The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) with 12 partners, this year’s program examines community driven initiatives, public legal education innovations and mental health in the legal profession.

In addition to a range of learning and engagement opportunities, this year we released Millennials, Technology and Access to Justice, a new report that presents findings from a survey of 1,000 Ontario residents aged 18 to 36. Understanding more about this generation’s expectations and experiences of the justice system will help us make informed and modern justice system improvements.

Last year’s Access to Justice Week program in Ontario provided a platform to diversify participants in the access to justice conversation. We wanted to keep these conversations going so we created a podcast called Architects of Justice. Released in September, the first season of the podcast explores how people are finding new ways to improve access to justice. The 15-minute episodes feature different perspectives, recent research findings and a story.

A second season of the podcast will be released in 2018 and episodes will be shaped by discussions from this year’s Access to Justice Week program.

Catch up on this year’s Access to Justice Week in Ontario with our hashtag #A2J2017.


The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) was established by the Law Society of Upper Canada in 2015 to facilitate better coordination and collaboration across the justice sector. It is funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario and the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Sabreena Delhon is the Manager of External Engagement and TAG at the Law Society of Upper Canada. Follow her on Twitter @SabreenaDelhon.


College of Law Students’ Small Urban and Rural Committee Annual Rural Firm Tour Held During Access to Justice Week

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By the student leaders of the College of Law’s “Small Urban and Rural Committee”, Darcy Dumont, Liam Fitz-Gerald, Brady Knight, and Taylor Clark
(Written by Darcy; Edited by Brady, Liam, and Taylor)

On October 20, 2017, the Small Urban and Rural Committee held the annual Rural Firm Tour, travelling to the communities of Melfort, Nipawin, and Tisdale.

Our first stop was Melfort, where we received a tour of the firm Kapoor, Selnes & Klimm from the firm’s associates Brandi Rintoul and Sarah Gryba. Brandi and Sarah detailed their articling experiences in Melfort, the diverse areas of law they practice, answered questions we had and discussed the opportunities that exist for lawyers in their community. Brandi and Sarah also provided us with tours of Court of Queen’s Bench and the Provincial Court, where we had the opportunity to meet Judge Stang. While in Melfort we were also able to visit Eisner Mahon Forsyth, where Trent Forsyth spoke to us. We ended our time in Melfort by returning to Kapoor, Selnes, & Klimm, who provided us with a pizza lunch.

Melfort Tour

The next stop on our tour was Nipawin. We were greeted at TSN Law by Darcy Neufeld and then walked to the Provincial Court facilities, where we were met by Ronald Saretzky, also from TSN Law. Darcy and Ronald provided us with a tour of the Provincial Court facilities.  We then walked back to TSN Law and received a tour of their office. Ronald and Darcy spoke of the opportunities that exist within rural Saskatchewan and told us what practicing at their firm in Nipawin entails. They detailed their experiences with rural practice and answered all of the questions we had. We were provided with gift bags containing souvenirs from Nipawin as we boarded the bus to head to our final stop.

We then travelled to Burningham Eisner in Tisdale. Kirby Burningham took us on a walking tour of Tisdale and spoke about life in a rural community. Professors Sarah Burningham and Keir Vallance from the College of Law happened to be in Tisdale and joined us for our tour. He showed us the local recreational facilities, and other amenities within the community while speaking to us about what life as a lawyer is like in Tisdale and telling us about his firm. To end our tour, we were treated to supper at “The Sweet Cup” before boarding the bus to travel back to Saskatoon.

Tisdale Tour

The Rural Firm Tour relates to Access to Justice because it promotes the providing of legal services within rural communities. If legal services were not available within these communities, it would be difficult for individuals who live in rural areas to have legal representation. Without the availability of legal representation in rural communities, individuals seeking representation would have to travel a great distance, often to a city such as Saskatoon.    It is important to realize that there is a need for legal services within these rural communities. It was encouraging to hear from all of the lawyers on the tour that practicing in a rural community is a rewarding experience and that rural communities provide valuable career prospects. It is important to realize that small urban centres and towns, such as Melfort, Nipawin, and Tisdale, are great places to establish a successful career and become a part of their community.

The Small Urban and Rural Committee would like to thank Brandi Rintoul, Sarah Gryba, Darcy Neufeld, and Kirby Burningham for organizing the Rural Firm Tour and providing our meals throughout the day. We would also like to thank Judge Stang and Trent Forsyth for taking time to meet with us, as well as Terri Karpish from the Career Office, the CBA Saskatchewan Branch for their support, and Howie who was our chauffeur for the day.

Happy First Birthday CREATE

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By The Hon. Thomas Cromwell
Chair, Action Committee of Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters
Honourary Fellow, CREATE Justice

This time last year I was in Saskatoon during Access to Justice Week, celebrating the launch of CREATE Justice. On its first anniversary, I congratulate everyone on taking this meaningful steps towards understanding and acting on the A2J crisis in Saskatchewan.

CREATE Justice was established in response to the call to action issued by the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters. As the Chair of that Committee, I’m pleased to see concrete steps to meet this call. The Action Committee’s Roadmap for Change called for more centres of excellence to foster research and understanding about the challenges people face when accessing the justice system. CREATE Justice does just that by facilitating research, evaluation and action on the issue. Its focus on gaps in data in research, coordinated with efforts in other provinces and territories, will help to build a meaningful picture of the issues and pressures people face. CREATE Justice, based at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law has also offered an invitation to researchers to work collaboratively under the banner of A2J research, helping to raise the profile of the issue.

This year’s A2J Week, with more programming and events, is an obvious testament to the collaboration underway in the legal community in Saskatchewan. I’m sure the projects and research that emerge through CREATE Justice will be another testament to the good work that is happening.

I want to take a moment to speak to all of the hard work that has gone into the first year of CREATE Justice. Starting a new entity, building agreement on its focus and activities and establishing its reputation takes hours of often thankless work. Much of that work is done by people with full schedules and demanding responsibilities to their employers, their clients and their families. I thank all of these people who have volunteered their time and expertise to this first year of CREATE Justice. Having a staff person on the project is a great start to long-term sustainability. However, I have no doubt that Brea Lowenberger has put in more hours and done tasks that no one anticipated when she took the position. Strong leadership is key to getting new initiatives off the ground. I commend everyone who has devoted themselves to establishing CREATE Justice and congratulate you on a successful first year and a promising future.


A2J Initiatives at the Law Society Library

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In light of Access to Justice Week, the Law Society Library would like to remind readers of a few of the initiatives we’ve taken to help promote A2J and the role librarians can and must play in bringing legal information to the public. Here are a few previous posts we thought you might be interested in taking another look at:

If you have initiatives you’d like to highlight on our blog, post a link or picture on Twitter using the hashtags #SKA2J and #justiceforall