access to justice

Access to Justice Bulletin, July 2017

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From the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group

 

Six things the Law Society Library is doing to improve access to justice: http://bit.ly/2t4h0Na.

Several spots left for “Golf CLASSIC with NHL Alumni”, a fundraiser for CLASSIC: http://bit.ly/2t499yM.

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project invites professionals who assist self-represented litigants to become part of National Directory: http://bit.ly/2tIMQ0q.

U of S Professors Heavin and Keet discuss simple framework for risk analysis and the impact it has on the way legal services are delivered: http://bit.ly/2tMU3Ls.

New initiative from Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone will engage youth in the access to justice discussion: http://bit.ly/2uDjUpB.

Open data sets in Ontario have potential to inform preventative or proactive access to justice responses: http://bit.ly/2uQNlq9.

Using social media to advance access to justice: http://bit.ly/2f2Aaws.

Law Society of Saskatchewan highlights improvement of access to legal services as a strategic direction: http://bit.ly/2tOjyh2.

Winkler Institute conducts public engagements with family justice sector participants to gather first-hand experiences to help inform family law system reform: http://bit.ly/2v0m8Bs.

CREATE Justice invites research project ideas from lawyers and legal organizations: http://bit.ly/2eOBp2c.

Toll-free hotline will provide Ontarians in small urban and rural centres with linguistically and culturally appropriate legal services: http://bit.ly/2w1f6JS.

Save the date for the 2nd Annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week, being held October 16-22, 2017.

PASS IT ON! SUBMIT YOUR BITE-SIZED ACCESS TO JUSTICE NEWS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE BULLETIN TO a2jworkinggroup@usask.ca AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SUBSCRIBE FOR THE BULLETIN AT http://bit.ly/29eyYPr.

 

Six Things the Library is Doing to Improve Access to Justice

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Alan Kilpatrick, Reference Librarian

It is widely recognized that access to justice is inadequate and legal services are becoming increasingly inaccessible.  Fortunately, libraries across Canada are working together to improve access to legal information and create solutions to the barriers self-represented litigants face.

What are we doing at the Law Society of Saskatchewan Library?  In the past three years, the Law Society Library has participated in a multitude of innovative access to legal information partnerships with justice, community, and library stakeholders.  For example, we:

  1. Provide the public with legal research assistance
  2. Have nearly doubled the coverage of Saskatchewan case law on CanLII
  3. Host weekly family law clinics
  4. Teach the public about legal research at the Regina Public Library’s Legal Resource Fair
  5. Provide Pro Bono Law and CLASSIC lawyers with free legal research assistance
  6. Are a founding partner of the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project

Click here to learn more about what the Law Society Library is actively doing to improve access to legal information and justice in Saskatchewan:

Do you participate in access to legal information and justice initiatives?  Post a link or picture on Twitter using the hashtags #SKA2J and #justiceforall.

Justice for all

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Natalie Tomczak, Communications Director
Law Society of Saskatchewan

The Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters is a group representing all sectors of the civil and family justice system as well the public. The group was assembled at the invitation of the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada in 2008 and since that time, more than 50 individuals and groups from all sectors of the civil justice system in Canada have participated in its work.1

The Action Committee is focused on fostering engagement, pursuing a strategic approach to reforms and coordinating the efforts of all participants concerned with civil justice while continuing to work nationally to advance access to justice in Canada. The nine Canada’s Justice Development Goals are looking at ways to address everyday legal problems, improve family justice, looking at ways for courts to be accessible, and improve funding strategies.

In response to its Roadmap for Change call to action prepared by the Action Committee, a collaborative entity has been established in every province and territory in Canada. The diverse groups represent hundreds of organizations, working toward meaningful improvements in access to justice including research, project models, data collections and other innovations.

One of the strategic directions in the Law Society of Saskatchewan’s 2016-18 Strategic Plan is to improve the access to legal services. As such, the Law Society is working to advance access to justice by focusing on public understanding of accessible justice issues as an everyday issue embodies a healthy democracy. Understanding the importance of legal health and predictability of legal issues will benefit individuals and will transform the access to justice conversation into an issue relevant for all. For the latest Access to Justice Bulletin provided by the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group, you can read it here: bit.ly/2uIKSLZ.

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada has established a Standing Committee on Access to Legal Services and is working to identify practical initiatives to improve access. Law societies across Canada have undertaken or are exploring important access initiatives including programs of forgivable loans for students from remote communities, surveys of the legal needs of residents, and increases to the scope of legal services that may be provided by non-lawyers. The Standing Committee will be sharing these and other ideas on a national scale in the near future2. In addition, the Federation’s Standing Committee on Access to Legal Services has produced an inventory of access to legal services initiatives of Canada’ law societies, including the Law Society of Saskatchewan.

To keep the conversation top of mind, the Law Society of Saskatchewan encourages you to take this quick quiz to test your knowledge on legal health and to share it among your colleagues, family and friends. The Law Society also encourages you to spread the message socially by using the hashtag #justiceforall and to follow on Twitter and Facebook @ActionCommA2J.

 

LINKS:

1 – http://www.cfcj-fcjc.org/sites/default/files/docs/2013/Access_to_Justice_Final_Report_Media_Release_draft_5_October_2.pdf

2- https://flsc.ca/national-initiatives/access-to-legal-services/

HYPERLINK TO GOALS: http://www.justicedevelopmentgoals.ca/

HYPERLINK TO ROADMAP: http://www.cfcj-fcjc.org/sites/default/files/docs/2013/AC_Report_English_Final.pdf

BULLETIN LINK: https://lsslib.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/access-to-justice-bulletin-june-2017/

Quiz links in English and French: su.vc/legalhealthsu.vc/santejuridique

HYPERLINK TO INVENTORY: https://flsc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/services6.pdf

Access to Justice Bulletin, June 2017

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From the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group

Saskatoon lawyer Janice Gingell helps people access legal advice even after retiring: http://bit.ly/2tbZm6z.

Harvard Law School’s Access to Justice Lab aims to challenge legal exceptionalism: http://bit.ly/2rFE5QJ.

University of Saskatchewan project tackles access to justice issues: http://bit.ly/2tbpJt0.

Fifth version of National Self-Represented Litigants Project’s Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography released, featuring new section on unbundling and legal coaching: http://bit.ly/2rJQJmA.

Access to justice should be priority for robot lawyers: http://bit.ly/2szag8h.

British Columbia’s Civil Resolution Tribunal offers an online option for small-claims disputes: http://bit.ly/2rADnc3.

CLASSIC’s Chantelle Johnson striving tirelessly for equity: http://bit.ly/2roA8jW.

New videos in Nova Scotia provide an overview on common family justice topics: http://bit.ly/2sa7zJI.

Supreme Court chief justice, known for access to justice leadership, to retire: http://bit.ly/2sIzAZV.

New report of Legal Services Corporation explores “The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans”: http://bit.ly/2tbLCIK.

University of Saskatchewan College of Law associate professor Sarah Buhler talks about her work in the area of access to justice through community-engaged research: http://bit.ly/2roWSQL.

Site for crowdfunding justice comes to United States: http://voc.tv/2qZ25CU.

Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission Speaker Series to feature Harold Johnson, crown prosecutor and award-winning author on June 27, 2017 in Saskatoon. RSVP to connie.windecker@gov.sk.ca by June 26.

PASS IT ON! SUBMIT YOUR BITE-SIZED ACCESS TO JUSTICE NEWS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE BULLETIN TO a2jworkinggroup@usask.ca AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SUBSCRIBE FOR THE BULLETIN AT http://bit.ly/29eyYPr.

Access to Justice Bulletin, May 2017

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From the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group

Legal services task team appointed by government of Saskatchewan to explore provision of legal services by non-lawyers: http://bit.ly/2qcKZ43.

Law Society of Saskatchewan Library presents on access to legal information innovation in Saskatchewan at provincial & national library conferences: http://bit.ly/2ri549c.

The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) on a path to inclusive technology to improve access to justice: http://bit.ly/2qhBLzl.

Join Annual General Meetings of Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan & CBA Saskatchewan Branch on June 15, 2017: http://bit.ly/2rCYIRM.

Law Society of Saskatchewan Annual General Meeting & Panel Discussion on Technology & the Changing Legal Landscape on June 15, 2017: http://bit.ly/2qxRcrv.

Joint Annual General Meetings of CLASSIC and Elizabeth Fry Society on June 22, 2017: http://bit.ly/2rVlnoI.

Free family law help now offered in Moose Jaw on first Thursday of each month: http://bit.ly/2qhiopX.

Calgary Provincial Court Judge Dunnigan provides information on family court cases on CBC Radio series: http://bit.ly/2qXsBce.

National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters launches public engagement campaign: http://bit.ly/2qTdwHE.

Pilot project launched by College of Law and CLASSIC, offering course credit to law students to participate in intensive clinical law program over Summer 2017.

New blog post by 2017 Law Foundation of Ontario Research Fellow, Nikki Gershbain on promoting legal coaching in family law: http://bit.ly/2qXLaz6.

PASS IT ON! SUBMIT YOUR BITE-SIZED ACCESS TO JUSTICE NEWS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE BULLETIN TO a2jworkinggroup@usask.ca AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SUBSCRIBE FOR THE BULLETIN AT http://bit.ly/29eyYPr.

 

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.

 

Access to Justice Bulletin, April 2017

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From the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group

National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil & Family Matters’ (NAC) Justice Development Goals Status Report released in March 2017 here: http://bit.ly/2o9MyOY. New NAC “Justice Development Goals” website launched in March 2017 here: http://bit.ly/2pDRn36.

People’s Law School presents the “Restorative Justice Dinner, Drama, & Discussion” on April 24 in Saskatoon & on April 25 in Prince Albert. For more information & to RSVP, email heatherpeters@mccsk.ca.

Free Law Day Telephone Clinic being hosted on April 25 & 26 by CBA Sask. & Pro Bono Law Sask. Call 1-306-569-3098 (Regina) or 1-855-833-7257 (toll free) to book a telephone appointment to obtain free legal advice from a volunteer Saskatchewan lawyer. Limited space available.

NAC is building an inventory of ways that access to justice is being improved across Canada. If your access to justice related innovations involve collaboration; governance; new delivery approaches; technology; or evaluation, please share them by May 15 here: http://bit.ly/2orbttv.

National Self-Represented Litigants Project seeks family lawyer input about ‘legal coaching’ by May 15 to help inform development of training program for lawyers interested in building a coaching practice: http://bit.ly/2oalo9K.

Free help with family law problems during April, May, & June in Saskatoon: http://bit.ly/2o961ze.

Research study seeks to connect with tenants who have been represented by CLASSIC or who represented themselves at a hearing at the Office of Residential Tenancies (Rentalsman). For more information, contact Sarah Buhler at 1-306-270-5564 or sarah.buhler@usask.ca, or drop by CLASSIC to sign up. Participants will receive $25 to thank them for their time.

Save the date for the 2nd Annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week, being held October 16-22, 2017.

Have you heard about the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project, an initiative of CREATE Justice? Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2oQtzGr.

Sask. could be forced to dismiss serious criminal cases due to shortage of justices, says Chief Justice Popescul: http://bit.ly/2otslPn.

PASS IT ON! SUBMIT YOUR BITE-SIZED ACCESS TO JUSTICE NEWS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE BULLETIN TO a2jworkinggroup@usask.ca AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SUBSCRIBE FOR THE BULLETIN AT http://bit.ly/29eyYPr.