Access to Justice
From the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group
The 3rd annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week is October 22-26. Have an event you would like to hold or an initiative you would like to highlight during the week? Contact the Access to Justice Coordinator with your idea: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program provides alternative for updating child support: https://bit.ly/2sMwF0D.
Saskatchewan Law Courts publish video on “What to Expect in a Chambers Hearing”: https://bit.ly/2Jh9BxZ.
Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan hosting Trivia Night on June 21 at 7:00 pm in celebration of PBLS’ 10th Anniversary to highlight the decade of work that PBLS and volunteers have provided to improve access to justice: https://bit.ly/2HhGo48.
New research explores the role of community workers who help people with legal problems: https://bit.ly/2Jn5FPB.
Summer schedule posted for Walk-in Wednesdays at the Regina Queen’s Bench Courthouse. Receive free help with family law problems on July 4 & 18 and August 1, 15, & 29 from 9:30-11:30 am.
The ‘Law Bus’ may be rolling into a northern B.C. town near you: https://bit.ly/2IgllAb.
New TRC Resource added to Law Society of Saskatchewan website: https://bit.ly/2LjGUky.
Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan launches new panel on Justice for Inmates: https://bit.ly/2Lm8TzZ.
In case you missed it, check out the award-nominated Architects of Justice Podcast, which explores how people are finding new ways to improve access to justice in Ontario: https://bit.ly/2x4kUpm.
Students from Melville, Regina, Prince Albert, & Yorkton learn about legal system during Law Day 2018 19th annual Mock Trial Competition: https://bit.ly/2JcAEys.
By Pierre Hawkins
Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan
PBLS is proud to announce the successful launch of our Inmates Legal Assistance Panel Program. This program, launched in late 2017 and inspired by similar work done at CLASSIC, provides legal advice and representation to inmates facing institutional legal issues.
The administration of justice within correctional institutions has recently proven to be a hot button topic. While media reports often focus on the use of segregation in prisons, the range of legal issues and potential sanctions in the institutional setting are broad. Inmates frequently face legal issues including administrative charges, segregation review hearings, transfer applications, and applications for access to medication and medical services. The handling of these legal issues can have an impact on an inmate’s quality of life, contact with family, privileges, and earned remission. As a result, these issues can have a profound impact on an inmate’s rehabilitation.
The pervasiveness of addiction and mental health issues within prisons underscores the importance of the proper handling of institutional legal issues. In such a controlled setting, the principles of administrative law risk falling by the wayside. Wherever vulnerable people face decision-making bodies, adequate legal representation is important to ensure that justice is both done and seen to be done. Nowhere is this truer than in prisons.
PBLS would like to thank its volunteers Thomas Hynes, Kara Moen, and Daniel Leblanc for their work on behalf of inmates since the launch of the program. If you are interested in volunteering for this panel, whether you are a current PBLS volunteer or not, please contact the writer at email@example.com.
[Originally published in Benchers’ Digest, Spring 2018]
From the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group
CPD Lunch & Learn on “The Big Shift: Responding to Increasing Self-Representation in Family Law” held in Saskatoon and Regina: https://bit.ly/2q8iIcy.
Measuring Legal Service Value, Part 1: https://bit.ly/2FobNAW.
Canada moving forward on implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including goal 16 which promotes the provision of access to justice for all:
Equal Access to Civil Justice for All: How Will We Know When We Get There? https://bit.ly/2qobiS1.
The “Listen Project” has been launched in Saskatchewan to provide legal information and advice for survivors of sexual violence: https://bit.ly/2Hy3msQ.
National Introductory Mediation Training, presented by ADR Institute of Saskatchewan from May 14-18 in Saskatoon for anyone interested in learning mediation skills to either enhance their
conflict resolution skills, or pursue a career as a mediator: https://bit.ly/2zq0N71.
Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan to host annual Lady Justice Dinner on May 17 in Saskatoon, celebrating achievements of select women who are making a difference in their community:
https://bit.ly/2GBKZ1j. For sponsorship or donation opportunities email firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters’ “Metrics Working Group” working on national justice metrics enhancement and coordination. Sign up for Metrics Working Group news, which will be distributed through the AJRN listserv: https://bit.ly/2HXjq6F.
College of Law and CREATE Justice hosted the second annual Poster Competition to showcase students’ research work and promote access to legal information for all: https://bit.ly/2IzLgTp.
Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan is celebrating its 10 year anniversary in 2018: https://bit.ly/2jceY63.
By Joel Janow
Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA)
With funding support from Justice Canada, Saskatchewan Justice has partnered with the Public Legal Education Association (PLEA) to pilot a program to provide free legal information/advice to survivors of sexual violence.
Under the program survivors of sexual violence that took place in Saskatchewan can receive up to 2 hours of legal information and advice per incident from a lawyer on the Listen roster. Lawyers apply to be on the roster after taking one-day training that covers matters such as dealing with traumatized clients and legal responses to sexual violence in a variety of contexts. Survivors can request an additional 2 hours of free legal advice if required in their case.
For the purposes of this project, sexual violence includes any sexual contact without consent including anything from touching to intercourse; any form of sexual harassment including sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as sexual harassment through criminal harassment, threats and intimidation; and sexual exploitation involving children and youth.
The incident does not need to have been reported to the police. The program is available to individuals of any age or gender, regardless of income. It also doesn’t matter how long ago the incident occurred.
It is expected that this program will assist survivors of violence by providing information/advice to help them understand and exercise their legal options, in areas such as civil, family, labour, human rights, immigration and criminal law.
To learn more about The Listen Project or to use the online application to apply for free legal advice, visit listen.plea.org. The program can also be contacted by emailing email@example.com, calling 1-855-258-9415 (toll-free) or texting 306-500-6430.
From Pro Bono Law Saskatchewan
PBLS is celebrating our 10th Anniversary! We have been providing free legal services in Saskatchewan for the last 10 years. PBLS formed in 2008 and now 10 years later, we are busier then ever and still expanding! Over the course of a few months, we will be posting some fun facts about the history and services of our organization. We are excited to share the tremendous growth of PBLS!
If you or someone you know is in need of legal help, please call our toll free number at 1-855-833-7257 to see if you are eligible!
From the Saskatchewan Access to Justice Working Group
CPD Lunch & Learn on “The Big Shift: Responding to Increasing Self-Representation in Family Law” on March 27 in Saskatoon and March 28 in Regina: http://bit.ly/2Fl49fw.
“Justice and Health: Forging New Connections” discussion on March 28 with panelists from SWITCH and CLASSIC, presented by College of Medicine Social Accountability Division in partnership with CREATE Justice: https://bit.ly/2IUzrrP.
Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family releases An Evaluation of the Cost of Family Law Disputes: Measuring the Cost Implication of Various Dispute Resolution Methods: https://bit.ly/2IUzHqH.
PBLS hiring for a Summer Student Position. Apply by April 2 by sending cover letter and resume to PBLS office: https://bit.ly/2I9P5Oy.
CBA Saskatchewan and PBLS Present “Free Law Day Phone Clinic” on April 17-18: https://bit.ly/2GziIM6.
National Introductory Mediation Training, presented by ADR Institute of Saskatchewan from May 14-18 in Saskatoon for anyone interested in learning mediation skills to either enhance their conflict resolution skills, or pursue a career as a mediator: https://bit.ly/2zq0N71.
Blockchain-based legal aid to promote access to justice: https://bit.ly/2pIAF0h.
What Goes on at CLASSIC: What Do Students Participating With CLASSIC Do? https://bit.ly/2G9ELK1.
Supreme Court of Canada starts publishing plain language case summaries, striving to be more accessible to Canadian public: https://bit.ly/2GieGV2.
New SRL Case Law Database intends to track emerging jurisprudence thoroughly in order to provide information to SRLs, judges, and lawyers: https://bit.ly/2IYvRNj.
As CLASSIC has been working with students and advocating for clients for just over a decade, we thought it would be useful to reach out to the legal community to outline what goes on at CLASSIC and what types of student experiences we currently offer.
Walk-in Advocacy Clinic (“WAC”)
The WAC is the clinic CLASSIC is best known for. In the WAC, students work on files for clients. Our largest areas of practice are criminal, admin (particularly residential tenancy and prison) and immigration, though we practice in approximately 12 areas of law. If selected to volunteer, students can volunteer at any time throughout law school. Volunteers spend a minimum of 3 hours a week at CLASSIC, and typically have 3-6 files. Volunteer students may, but do not necessarily, get litigation experience at administrative tribunals or at provincial court.
Students may also participate in the intensive (aka clinical law) program. This is a for-credit course, for one entire academic term. Intensive students spend approximately 3.5 months working on files (Monday to Thursday) and typically have 25-30 files. Students participating in the intensive appear in provincial court regularly and will usually have done sentencing and/or administrative hearings. Students are evaluated on a pass/fail basis for the work they do at CLASSIC. Students receive a letter grade for their work in the seminar. The letter grade reflects the grade for their participation in the seminar and the paper they write for the seminar class. The letter grade may or may not correspond with their ability with actual file work. Since the actual file work is done on a pass/fail basis, hiring committees may want to contact CLASSIC during the hiring process.
Legal Advice Clinic (“LAC”)
The LAC is for indictable criminal, civil, and family law matters. Students volunteering with the LAC will either sit in on 30-minute consultations between a practicing lawyer and their client and take notes as to what the issues are and what advice is given, or work reception during evening clinics. Students typically do this once per month, for approximately 3 hours. Although CLASSIC is sometimes able to provide references for LAC students, CLASSIC’s staff is largely involved in coordination, not qualitative analysis of students. As such, it is typically difficult for CLASSIC to provide more information than whether or not the student attended their scheduled hours on a regular basis.
CLASSIC has two student managers at a time, who work 4 hours per week (paid). The student managers are almost always students with significant experience in the WAC who have demonstrated competence. The work varies, but student managers typically will have leadership roles in training, orientation, and mentoring new volunteers and intensives in the WAC. Student managers may also do community legal information presentations, outreach at community events, and act as a go-between for students and lawyers.
Systemic Initiatives/Systemic Justice Course
CLASSIC is not currently, but has in the past, had students involved with systemic initiatives. Students were either volunteers (typically 2-3 hours per month) or participated in a for-credit course. Unlike the WAC, the systemic course lasted both academic terms, but was only one course. Students were involved in research and writing for systemic initiatives, which involved both community outreach and legal research/writing.
Project ID students work with people who have lost, or otherwise do not have, legal ID. Students meet clients one-on-one and assist them with preparing the necessary documents to get a new ID. Students will typically have met and assisted 30-40 clients over the course of a year.
Community Legal Education (“CLE”)
CLE students give presentations, outlining legal rights and responsibilities, to community members and community-based organizations. Presentations typically involve landlord/tenant issues, policing, and employment law.
CLASSIC often seeks a few student volunteers to work on projects which do not fall into any of the categories listed above. The projects vary substantially, but they are typically research orientated and involve approximately 3 hours per week.