Access to Justice

CREATE Justice Bulletin — February 2019

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From Centre for Research, Evaluation, and Action Towards Equal Justice (CREATE Justice)

Declaration on Equal Access to Justice for All by 2030 made by Ministers and high-level representatives from countries and international organizations during meeting in the Hague on February 7.

CLASSIC Karaoke and Lip Sync Battle 2019 on March 1.

Register in one or all of the three remaining one-hour access to justice National Action Committee on Access to Justice Pop-Up Community of Practice teleconferences.

Regina library fair connects people with free legal resources.

Family justice in Canada is at a breaking point.

Recognizing trusted intermediaries as a systematic part of the legal system.

Pro bono law clinics for French speaking clients now offered by Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan and the Centre d’information juridique de la Saskatchewan. For more information, call 1-855-924-8543 or visit their website.

New Access to Justice and Law Reform Institute of Nova Scotia aims to ‘put the public first’.

ADR Institute of Saskatchewan sponsoring an Introductory Mediation training from April 22–26.

Saskatchewan’s first Cree-speaking judge reflects on legacy of Cree court as he retires.

Stay up-to-date with the National Action Committee on Access to Justice, chaired by the Honourable Beverley McLachlin, by subscribing for committee newsletter.

Law Society Initiatives: Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information.

AI at heart of Microsoft’s Legal Navigator complete, will connect people with legal resources.

PASS IT ON! SUBMIT YOUR BITE-SIZED ACCESS TO JUSTICE NEWS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE BULLETIN TO
createjustice@usask.ca AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SUBSCRIBE FOR THE BULLETIN.

Law Librarian On Site

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By Alan Kilpatrick

Need help with your legal research? Law Society of Saskatchewan librarian, Alan Kilpatrick, will be on-site at RPL’s Central Branch to help guide you through the many legal resources available. Please contact our libraries for further information.

Thursday, March 7: 1:00-4:00 pm
Thursday, March 21: 1:00-4:00 pm
Thursday, April 4: 1:00-4:00 pm

Are you in Saskatoon? No problem! Law Society librarian, Ken Fox, will be on-site at SPL’s Frances Morrison Central Library on the following dates:

Tuesday, March 5: 6:00-9:00 pm
Tuesday, March 19: 1:00-4:00 pm
Monday, April 1: 6:00-9:00 pm
Tuesday, April 16: 1:00-4:00 pm

Invitation to Lawyers Interested in Offering Unbundled Services and Legal Coaching

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By Kim Newsham; Family Justice Services, Ministry of Justice

Most lawyers offer comprehensive legal service, meaning they represent a client from the beginning of the matter/issue, to the end. The lawyer appears in court, drafts documents, prepares correspondence, and generally manages all aspects of the case. Research indicates that not everyone wants this level of representation, and not everyone can afford this level of representation, but may benefit greatly from specific legal services. You have likely heard about and may offer unbundled services, but may not be as familiar with ‘legal coaching’ as a type of legal practice. If you have not heard of legal coaching, a helpful definition by expert in the area, Nikki Gershbain states,

“Legal coaching is a type of unbundled legal service, where a lawyer-coach offers behind-the-scenes guidance on both the hard and soft skills of lawyering, in order to provide a (primarily) self-represented litigant with the strategies and tools needed to present their case as effectively as possible in the absence of counsel.”

The Law Society of Saskatchewan, Ministry of Justice, and CREATE Justice (the Centre for Research, Evaluation and Action Towards Equal Justice), College of Law is launching the “Saskatchewan Legal Coaching and Unbundled Services Pilot Project”. A webpage is being developed devoted to practice resources for lawyers and information for the public about unbundled services and legal coaching. Part of the public information will include a list of lawyers who offer these services. The existing list that we have currently includes about 30 lawyers, from 4 cities.

We are interested in hearing from you. We invite you to contact us to express your interest in the following:

  1.  If you would like your name added to the public list as a lawyer who offers unbundled services and/or legal coaching, please email Kim Newsham at kim.newsham@gov.sk.ca.
  2.  SAVE THE DATE: A 1-day legal coaching workshop will be held in each of Saskatoon and Regina during the October 2019 Saskatchewan Access to Justice week.  Stay tuned for further updates. If you would like to be notified about new resources and training events related to unbundled services and legal coaching as they become available, please email Kim Newsham at kim.newsham@gov.sk.ca.

 

Law Society Initiatives: Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information (SALI)

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By Melanie Hodges Neufeld, Director of Legal Resources and partners: Ministry of Justice; and Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan 

To address the growing public need for legal information, the Law Society’s Legal Resources department and several other legal information providers have launched a project to improve access to legal information for Saskatchewan residents through the public library system: the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (SALI). The SALI partners include CREATE Justice; the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan; the Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA); the Public Libraries of Saskatchewan; and the University of Saskatchewan Library.

Public libraries act as trusted intermediaries and credible information providers. Public library space and locations will also aid in increasing the delivery of legal information to the public. The space is accessible to all residents and provides free Wi-Fi access to utilize online resources. Public library branches are also present in most communities throughout the province, even smaller and more remote centres, and act as the main community hub in many locations.

Our role in the SALI project is to provide public library staff with the skills needed to deploy their expertise in the context of legal information, making them a powerful resource for members of the public seeking information related to their own legal problems. A training webinar and resource entitled “Detecting Legal Problems and Legal Information Sources” was developed and distributed to public library staff in 2018.

A public campaign based on this webinar and resource also launched in October 2018 to coincide with Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week. This campaign includes posters, brochures and short videos on detecting specific legal problems. Please see the Law Society website under Initiatives for more information and to view the videos.

CLASSIC Karaoke & Lip Sync Battle 2019

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CLASSIC assists low-income members of our community with their legal needs while providing practical legal education to law and inter-disciplinary students.

You are cordially invited to join CLASSIC on March 1st, 2019 at 7:00pm for their 2nd CLASSIC Karaoke & Lip Sync Battle event at the Capitol! Tickets are $50 and it promises to be a night of fun, laughs, and entertainment.

Doors open at 6:30 pm. Show begins at 7:00 pm.

DETAILS
Date: March 1, 2019
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: The Capitol – 244 1st Ave N.
Ticket Price: $50

Please make a donation if you are unable to attend or can help even more.

CREATE Justice Bulletin – January 2019

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‘Justice’ named Merriam-Webster’s word of the year, determined through data as a top lookup throughout 2018.

New legal café offers alternative to law office.

The 2019 CBA Saskatchewan Branch Mid-Winter Meeting, focused on ‘Enhancing Justice’ took place from January 31-February 1.

Public Legal Resources Fair and Workshops at Regina Public Library were held on February 2.

Invitation to submit access to justice activities to be included in a national coordination effort by February 11.

In case you missed it, student research assistants help advance health and data topics at CREATE Justice.

Thomas Cromwell and Beverley McLachlin on access to justice and the next year for the Action Committee.

CLASSIC Karaoke and Lip Sync Battle 2019 tickets available.

Public Access to Legal Information at the Law Society Library.

New drop-in clinic for family law help at Regina Public Library.

New Walk-In Counselling now available Monday and Wednesday afternoons at CLASSIC.

New drop-in clinic for wills and estates help at Saskatoon Public Library.

Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan hosts first annual Pro Bono Rocks Funspeil and recognizes PBLS volunteers.

Law Librarian now on site at Regina Public Library during two afternoons a month to help patrons find legal information and resources.

PASS IT ON! SUBMIT YOUR BITE-SIZED ACCESS TO JUSTICE NEWS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE BULLETIN TO createjustice@usask.ca AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO SUBSCRIBE FOR THE BULLETIN HERE.

NewLi: Legal Information for Saskatchewan’s Newcomers

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By Alan Kilpatrick

The rate of newcomers and immigrants settling in Saskatchewan has skyrocketed in recent years.  The past decade saw more than 100,000 immigrants arrive in the province.  Over ten percent of Saskatchewan’s population, according to the 2016 census, are immigrants.

Newcomers face a variety of unique challenges accessing legal information, understanding their rights, and making sense of Canadian law.  According to this previous blog post on Legal Sourcery, Saskatchewan Chief Justice Richards identified these challenges and encouraged Saskatchewan’s Public Legal Education Association (PLEA) to create a legal information resource specifically for newcomers:

“Saskatchewan, like many other parts of the country, is enjoying a significant influx of new immigrants. Many of them come from countries or places where the law, police, lawyers, government and the courts function much differently than they do in Canada. We need to ensure that all of our citizens understand the basic roles of the legal profession, the police and the courts. As well, they need to understand that these institutions are beyond the reach of corruption and bribery and that they can be used with confidence to vindicate rights, and ensure fairness.”

PLEA, as you may know, is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing Saskatchewan citizens with high-quality plain language legal information, education, and publications on common legal topics.  PLEA launched its NewLi website in late 2016 as a “Saskatchewan newcomer’s guide to the law.”  It features accessible information about the law, government, and justice at newli.plea.org.

The Law Society Library team is excited to see more plain language legal information being made available in Saskatchewan as a result of PLEA’s outstanding efforts.  Most Saskatchewanians have a difficult time understanding formal legal language and legalese.  Access to understandable legal information is an access to justice issue.  For example, the British Columbia Provincial Court explains that “by using plain language we … contribute to improved understanding of court processes, legal issues, and decisions. We shorten court lists. And we give people effective, real access to justice.”

We encourage you to check out NewLi and call on Saskatchewan’s legal profession to step up, write plainly, and produce more plain language legal content.

 

Sources

British Columbia Provincial Court. (2017, July 18). Plain language – essential for real access to justice. Retrieved from http://provincialcourt.bc.ca/enews/enews-18-07-2017

Gagne, J. (2018, October 21).  Access to justice week highlight – A2J for Newcomers. Retrieved from https://lsslib.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/access-to-justice-week-highlight-a2j-for-newcomers/

Latimer, K. (2017, October 25). Share of new immigrants in Sask. climbs upward: StatsCan.
Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-recent-immigrants-numbers-climb-1.4371285

Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan. (n.d.) NewLi: about. Retrieved from
http://newli.plea.org/about

Shepherd, A. (2018, September 18). Saskatchewan marks 20 years of immigrant nominee program. Retrieved from https://www.cjme.com/2018/09/18/saskatchewan-marks-20-years-of-immigrant-nominee-program/