access to justice

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.

Access to Justice Bulletin, March 2017

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From the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group

CREATE Justice officially launched March 1 at the College of Law. Read the first publication of the centre, the Architects of Justice Survey Report, which was aimed at increasing public participation in developing access to justice solutions: http://bit.ly/2mQ7Hx3.

Legal Resources Fair held at Regina Public Library on March 14 to increase public access to legal information: http://bit.ly/2nfhV9i.

Register for “Law Day for Canada at 150”, a free public lecture about diversity in the legal system, chaired by the Hon. Justice Jackson on March 30 in Regina: http://bit.ly/2mNBd2i.

Law Society Library seeks feedback about legal resources & access to justice by April 7 from Saskatchewan lawyers practicing in smaller communities: http://bit.ly/2o8g46Z.

Intakes for CLASSIC’s Walk-in Advocacy Clinic (WAC) suspended from March 29-May 15 to accommodate student change-over. CLASSIC’s Legal Advice Clinic (LAC) appointments also limited between March 29-May 15 because of limited student availability & student change-over.

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.

New Law Society of Saskatchewan Executive Director, Tim Brown highlights topic of access to justice in “Leading with Vision” feature of Spring 2017 Bencher’s Digest: http://bit.ly/2mJ4rhU.

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

Report by the Hon. Justice Bonkalo submitted to Ontario Attorney General & Law Society of Upper Canada on “Expanding Legal Services Options for Families” for consideration in development of an action plan to be released in Fall 2017: http://bit.ly/2oAwCBg.

CREATE Justice highlighted in Slaw Column, “Beyond the Binary” as an innovative initiative that seeks to normalize broader engagement in addressing access to justice problems: http://bit.ly/2nLrxqa.

Providing Legal Resources to Lawyers in Smaller Communities – Law Society Library & Access to Justice

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld

Providing publicly accessible legal resources and information increases the public’s understanding of legal matters and ability to handle these matters. In addition to the numerous public resources created and provided by the Library and research assistance, the Library is also involved in several access to justice initiatives. Please see a recent article in our Benchers’ Digest (page 6) “Putting the Public First – Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project” for more information on this initiatives.

However, it is important to recognize that the definition of access to justice is broader than just assisting self-represented litigants. Access to justice also includes ensuring members of the public have access to competent and affordable legal services. The resources and services provided by the Law Society Library enable lawyers, particularly in smaller centres, to adequately service their communities. Our Members’ Section ensures our members have access to the resources they need no matter their location. It is already difficult to attract new lawyers to smaller communities. A lack of resources could potentially make these locations even less attractive and leave communities without legal services.

If you are a lawyer practicing in a smaller community in Saskatchewan, please share your voice and review the following notice regarding funding to maintain legal resources, such as WestlawNext, and the other resources available through the Members’ Section and the Law Society Library. Once you have reviewed the notice, please complete the survey contained within. The deadline to complete the survey is April 7th. We appreciate your time and feedback.

 

 

CLASSIC – Free Legal Clinics in Saskatoon

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classicLogoBy Melanie Hodges Neufeld

Community Legal Assistance for Saskatoon Inner City (CLASSIC) provides the following legal clinics at their location at 123 20th Street West in Saskatoon:

CLASSIC’s WALK-IN ADVOCACY CLINIC is for people seeking legal information, basic legal services, including representation to come in and do an intake on a first come, first serve basis. The Walk-In Advocacy Clinic is Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM.

(Note: Walk-In Advocacy Clinic intakes are suspended from November 21 to January 9, 2017 as CLASSIC transition through another group of students.)

  • Residential Tenancies
  • Social Services
  • Employment Law
  • Immigration and Refugee
  • Estate Law
  • Guardian ship Matters

CLASSIC also administers a LEGAL ADVICE CLINIC. This is where clients have the opportunity to have a one half-hour consultation with a practicing lawyer. The Legal Advice Clinic is through appointment only on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and evenings.

  • Family Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Civil Law

Please visit the CLASSIC website for more information.