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The Clearinghouse provides information on civil justice systems and civil justice reform initiatives. It contains bibliographic records of published materials such as books, articles, policy reports and conference proceedings. The Clearinghouse is intended for research or general interest purposes. For details about jurisdiction-specific legal organizations please visit the Legal Links page.

Please direct questions about the Clearinghouse to communications@cfcj-fcjc.org

Subject Publications
Access to Justice

While not easily defined, access to justice refers broadly to the access that citizens have to dispute resolution tools of justice including but not limited to courts. Effective access to justice does not only refer to reductions in costs, access to lawyers and access to courts; but rather, it is a broad term that refers more generally to the efficaciousness of a justice system in meeting the dispute resolution needs of its citizens.

Links to related resources are listed below.

Reaching Equal Justice: An invitation to envision and act
Author: A summary report by the CBA Access to Justice Committee
Year and Publisher: 2013, Canadian Bar Association
Description: The report is part of the CBA Envisioning Equal Justice Initiative which considers the systemic barriers that impact our ability to achieve equal justice in Canada. This summary report provides a framework and targets that are meant to help guide the process of reform. 
Link: http://www.cba.org/cba/equaljustice/secure_pdf/Equal-Justice-Report-eng.pdf 

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Listening to Ontarians: Report of the Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project
Author: Project Steering Committee (R. Roy McMurtry, Marion Boyd, John McCamus, Lorne Sossin)
Year and Publisher: 2010, Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project Steering Committee
Description: Reports on research into the legal needs of low- and middle-income Ontarians.
Link: http://www.lsuc.on.ca/media/may3110_oclnreport_final.pdfDescription: PDF
 


A matter of trust: Canadian Judicial Council annual report 2009-2010;
Un lien de confiance : Rapport annuel 2009-2010 du Conseil canadien de la magistrature
Author: Canadian Judicial Council
Year and Publisher: 2010, Canadian Judicial Council
Description: Annual report highlighting the work of Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, release of the Blueprint for the Security of Judicial Information, and other items.
Link: http://www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca/cmslib/general/CJC-annual-report-2009-2010-finalE.pdf
          http://www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca/cmslib/general/CJC-annual-report-2009-2010-finalE.pdf
 


Preserving the Right to a Fair Trial
Author: Deborah R. Hatch, Peter Royal, Gwilym Davies, Charles Davison, Ravi Prithipaul & Laura Stevens
Year and Publisher: 2010, Edmonton Journal
Description: Article by current and past presidents of the Criminal Trial Lawyers' Association stressing the importance of access to legal aid so that cost is not a barrier to justice.
Link: http://www2.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/ideas/story.html?id=d78a944d-f9db-476c-bb97-470a6a8eb58f&p=1
 


Legal-costs Insurance Needs Official Boost, says Long-time Provider
Author: Michael McKiernan
Year and Publisher: 2010, Law Times News
Description: The Law Society of Upper Canada has welcomed a new legal expenses insurance scheme for individuals as a potential solution to access-to-justice problems in Ontario.
Link: http://www.lawtimesnews.com/201007197223/Headline-News/Legal-costs-insur...
 


Civil Justice System Seen as Catering to the Rich
Author: Kirk Makin
Year and Publisher: 2010, the Globe and Mail
Description: Reports on the release of the Report of the Ontario Civil Legal Needs Project, as well as a call for proposals by the Access to Justice Fund Grants Program.
Link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/civil-justice-system-seen-a...
 


Creating Access to Justice in Nunavut
Author: Mary Stratton
Year and Publisher: 2009, LawNow
Description: Describes access to justice issues facing Nunavut.
Link: stratton-access-in-nunavut-en.pdf
 


Report of the Access to Family Justice Task Force [Guerette report]
Author: New Brunswick Access to Family Justice Task Force
Year and Publisher: 2009, New Brunswick Access to Family Justice Task Force
Description: Task force report recommending moving away from an adversarial model in family court and focusing on accessibility and proportionality.
Link: http://www.gnb.ca/0062/FamilyJustice/FinalReport-e.pdf
 


“Professionalism and proportionality”
Author: Warren K. Winkler
Year and Publisher: 2009, The Advocates Journal
Description: Article is adapted from a presentation by the Honourable Warren K. Winkler, the Chief Justice of Ontario, at the American College of Trial Lawyers Annual Meeting in Toronto on September 26, 2008, on the need for proportionality to ensure access to the civil justice system.
Link: http://www.ontariocourts.on.ca/coa/en/ps/publications/professionalism_proportionality.pdf
 


Evaluation of the Nova Scotia Small Claims Court: Final report to the Nova Scotia Law Reform Commission
Author: Marc W. Patry, Veronica Stinson & Steven M. Smith
Year and Publisher: 2009, Law Reform Commission of Nova Scotia
Description: Evaluation of the Nova Scotia Small Claims Court by researchers from Saint Mary's University, concluding that the court provides 'quick, informal, and affordable access to justice' but identifying enforcement of judgments as an area of concern.
Link: http://www.lawreform.ns.ca/Downloads/SmallClaimsFinaReportFINAL.pdf
 


Civil Legal Needs Research Report
Author: Carol McEown
Year and Publisher: 2009, Law Foundation of British Columbia
Description: Looking at what can be abstracted from civil legal needs surveys, from previous poverty law needs assessments, as well as other current legal needs, and the gravity of the unmet needs problems.
Link: http://www.lawfoundationbc.org/reports-papers/
 


 

Alternative Dispute Resolution

There are a variety of alternatives to the successful resolution of disputes other than trial.  The use of ADR allows parties to choose a dispute resolution method that suits their needs, and ideally reduces expenses, increases party satisfaction, and offers a more timely resolution of issues.  Because court-connected ADR is a method of case disposition, the final resolution may be presented to a judge for entry as the final disposition of the case, or for enforcement of the outcome.

Links to related resources are listed below.

 

White Paper on Family Relations Act Reform: Proposals for a New Family Law Act
Author: British Columbia Ministry of the Attorney General; Justice Services Branch; Civil Policy and Legislation Office
Year and Publisher: 2010, British Columbia Ministry of the Attorney General
Description: White paper to promote discussion of proposed changes to BC's Family Relations Act, including a focus on non-court dispute resolution.
Link: http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/legislation/pdf/Family-Law-White-Paper.pdf
 


Report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review
Author: Launched by the Lord Justice Clerk, the Rt Hon Lord Gill
Year and Publisher: 2009, Scottish Courts
Description: Report of the Scottish Civil Courts Review, launched by the Lord Justice Clerk, the Rt Hon Lord Gill, on the cost of litigation, the alternative dispute resolution, communication and case management, and specialisation of courts or procedures.
Link: http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/civilcourtsreview/

 


Canadian Federal and Provincial Administrative Legislation Containing ADR Processes
Author: Trevor C. Farrow and Ada Ho
Year and Publisher: 2007, The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: This document provides a sampling of Canadian federal and provincial legislation dealing with various forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution, with a heavier focus in the areas of Health, Environment, Labour and Human Rights. 
Link: Admin Legislation Chart - Sept 22, 2007.pdf

 


Administrative Tribunals Using ADR
Author: Trevor C. Farrow and Ada Ho
Year and Publisher: 2007, The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: This document provides a sampling of administrative tribunals available in Canada, many of which use some form of ADR.  The primary focus areas of the tribunals are Health, Environment, Labour and Human Rights.
Link: Administrative Tribunal Legislation - May 17, 2007.pdf

 


ADR and the Public Interest; Le Règlement Extrajudiciaire des Différends (RED) et l'Intérêt Public
Author: Lorne Sossin
Year and Publisher: 2006, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: Presented at the Conference: Into the Future: The Agenda for Civil Justice Reform on May 2, 2006
Link: sossin-en.pdf
         sossin-fr.pdf

 


Personal Reflections on ADR Reforms = Réflexions Personnelles sur la Réforme du RED
Author: David Tavender
Year and Publisher: 2006, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: Presented at the Conference: Into the Future: The Agenda for Civil Justice Reform on May 2, 2006
Link: tavender-en.pdf
          tavender-fr.pdf

 


Some Industry Responses to Dispute Resolution = La Résolution des Conflits : Quelques Réactions de l'Industrie
Author: S. Noel Rea
Year and Publisher: 2006, News & Views on Civil Justice Reform , Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: Looking at one counsel’s experience with introducing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in a corporate setting.
Link: newsviews09-en.pdf
         newsviews09-en.pdf

 


Privatizing our Public Civil Justice System; La Privatisation du Système Public de Justice Civile
Author: Trevor C. W. Farrow
Year and Publisher: 2006, News & Views on Civil Justice Reform, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: “There is a real danger that parties, particularly those with power, will increasingly use this privatizing system in order to circumvent public policies, accountability and notions of basic procedural fairness.”
Link: newsviews09-en.pdf   
          newsviews09-fr.pdf
 


Offers to Settle in the Federal Court of Appeal and in the Federal Court
Author: Rules Subcommittee on Offers to Settle [Federal Court]
Year and Publisher: 2004, Rules Subcommittee on Offers to Settle, Ottawa, Ontario
Description: Discussion paper surrounding settlement and the rules which are intended promote and incentivise settlement. The discussion paper notes the problems that have prompted the paper and possible amendments that could address the problems.
Link: 18596-settle_fca.pdf
 


ADR with Spirit – Growing our Souls through our Work
Author: Pauline Sink
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper, University of Saskatchewan, College of Law
Description: This working paper is written by a law student nearing graduation. The paper discusses the impressions and experiences garnished from a three month project simulating multi-party institutional conflict resolution.
Link: adr_spirit.pdf
 


The Potential for Mediating Disputes Online
Author: Kevin Andrade & Gurinder Bains
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: In this paper we will be looking at the possibilities for mediating settlements online. Mediation offers a greater challenge than less consensual methods of resolution like online arbitration because of the stress on developing rapport and trust between the parties and facilitators.
Link: mediating_disputes_online.pdf
 


Online Dispute Resolution: Overcoming the Problems and Shackles of Territory
Author: David Parkatti
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: “Emerging models of online dispute resolution… such as that recently created for the resolution of domain name conflicts, present what many consider to be a solution to this intractable cross-border problem.”
Link: online_dr.pdf
 


Keeping Mediation an Alternative Dispute Resolution Process
Author: Tad Kojima
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: “By continuing to take an adversarial approach, lawyer-mediators have begun to strip mediation of its unique process. It is becoming more adversarial. Legal concepts and legal rules are becoming more attractive.”
Link: keeping_mediation.pdf
 


Confidentiality and the Public Interest Exception: Considerations for Mixed International Arbitration
Author: Monique Pongracic-Speier
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: The challenges that arise in respect of confidentiality in international commercial arbitration between public and private parties have only recently begun to be articulated, despite the fact that this sort of "mixed" arbitration is by no means new. This paper will examine the nature of these challenges.
Link: confidentiality.pdf
 


Mediating Malpractice Disputes: A Viable Alternative to Tort Litigation
Author: Amy Binder
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: This paper explores the nature of medical malpractice incidents and how they play out
in the civil litigation process. It is proposed that a process with a central focus on mediation creates a less adversarial milieu and is thus, more likely to successfully resolve medical malpractice disputes.
Link: mediating_malpractice.pdf
 


The Repatriation of the Constitution & Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Failure of Past Constitutional Negotiations and Possible ADR Solutions for the Future
Author: Raphael Feldstein
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: This paper posits that there is a dire need to stipulate alternative dispute resolution as a possibility for overcoming arising difficulties in constitutional negotiations.
Link: repatriation.pdf
 


Peace So Close and Yet So Far: A Look at Negotiations in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
Author: Kim Stock
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: This paper examines theories behind international negotiations and intractable conflicts, the history and efforts of the two conflicting parties in the peace process, the types of conflict resolution that have been employed, and the problems facing dispute settlement for the parties involved.
Link: peace_close.pdf
 


How We Got To Yes: Introducing an ADR Practicum at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law
Author: Rachel Iscove, Estee Garfin & Julie MacLean
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: This paper looks at the importance of ADR generally and also makes the case for an expanded ADR curriculum at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Law.
Link: got_to_yes.pdf
 


Food Fight: the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation
Author: Tammy Smith
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: This paper looks at the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation located in Ottawa and asks what it was that prompted those negotiating NAFTA to include an article dealing with private commercial dispute resolution regarding agriculture.
Link: food_fight.pdf
 


Empowerment in Mediation: For the Masses
Author: Gary Wong
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: This paper evaluates the issues of power imbalances and empowerment in mediation and assesses the viability of functional interventions that mediators can employ in addressing cases where power imbalances may materialize.
Link: empowerment.pdf
 


Mediation, Family Law Disputes and the Best Interests of Children
Author: Lisa Walker-Sharp
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: Exploring the benefits and concerns about the use of mediation, or alternative dispute
resolution (ADR) in private and public family law disputes.
Link: mediation_best_interests.pdf
 


Managing School Conflict: the Peer Mediation Approach
Author: Jeff Silver & Karin Vermander
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: This essay identifies and discusses the three generally recognized models of peer mediation found in our school system. The process of implementing a peer mediation model into our schools is then broadly considered and specific results identified. The paper also conveys the practical experiences associated with the operation of the Common Ground program at Central Catholic High School, located in Windsor, Ontario.
Link: managing_school.pdf
 


Forget the Mechanics and Bring in the Gardeners: An Exploration of Mediation in Intellectual Property Disputes
Author: Daniele Ciraco
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: This paper theorizes about the benefits of mediation in IP disputes.
Link: forget_mechanics.pdf
 


Mediation: The Great Equalizer? A Critical Theory Analysis
Author: Reva Seth
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: Critics are now suggesting that mediation may actually undermine the ability of minority and disadvantaged groups to obtain a fair and just hearing. As mediation is often aimed at serving groups whose members are particularly vulnerable to prejudice, these critics suggest that society proceed extremely cautiously when channeling disputes towards mediation. This paper will evaluate the validity of these criticisms and explore the merits of the measures suggested to address them.
Link: mediation_equalizer.pdf
 


Creating Energy or Frustration: The Use of Consensus Building By Governments to Attack Sustainability Issues
Author: Tammy Praskach
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: The purpose of this paper is to flesh out the necessary elements for a successful consensus process, and see if they are being incorporated into those consensus processes that are facilitated by the government.
Link: creating energy.pdf
 


A Return to 'Traditional' Dispute Resolution: An Examination of Religious Dispute Resolution Systems
Author: Kellie Johnston, Gus Camelino & Roger Rizzo
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: This paper proceeds on the following framework. The first section examines the Jewish system of alternate dispute processes. Next, the Ismaili Muslim tradition of dispute resolution is held up as an example of a relatively new and international-based system that incorporates traditional religious practices into the resolution of disputes. Finally, the United Church Dispute Resolution Policy is explored.
Link: trad_dr.pdf
 


The Origins of Restorative Justice
Author: May Leung
Year and Publisher: 2000,
Description:  This paper provides an examination of the origins of the restorative justice movement as a reminder of its original goals and objectives.
Link: restorative_justice.pdf
 


Amicable Dispute Resolution: The Mediation Alternative and the Alberta Environmental Appeal Board
Author: Ron Goltz
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: A look at the use of ADR within the Alberta Environmental Appeal Board.
Link: amicable_dr.pdf
 


Using Alternative Dispute Resolution to Respond to Indian Residential School Abuse
Author: Carla M. McGrath
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: In the context of the Residential School abuses, this paper explores the nature of the dispute, the parties' interests, and the primary mechanisms available to resolve the conflict, ultimately concluding that an ADR approach seems to have the greatest potential for meeting the parties' needs and interests.
Link: adr_residential_schools.pdf
 


Mediation, Family Law Disputes and the Best Interests of Children
Author: Lisa Walker-Sharp
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: Exploring the benefits and concerns about the use of mediation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in private and public family law disputes.
Link: mediation_best_interests.pdf
 


Managing School Conflict: the Peer Mediation Approach
Author: Jeff Silver & Karin Vermander
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: This essay identifies and discusses the three generally recognized models of peer mediation found in our school system. The process of implementing a peer mediation model into our schools is then broadly considered and specific results identified. The paper also conveys the practical experiences associated with the operation of the Common Ground program at Central Catholic High School, located in Windsor, Ontario.
Link: managing_school.pdf
 


Mediation: The Great Equalizer? A Critical Theory Analysis
Author: Reva Seth
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: Critics are now suggesting that mediation may actually undermine the ability of minority and disadvantaged groups to obtain a fair and just hearing. As mediation is often aimed at serving groups whose members are particularly vulnerable to prejudice, these critics suggest that society proceed extremely cautiously when channeling disputes towards mediation. This paper will evaluate the validity of these criticisms and explore the merits of the measures suggested to address them.
Link: mediation_equalizer.pdf
 


Creating Energy or Frustration: The Use of Consensus Building by Governments to Attack Sustainability Issues
Author: Tammy Praskach
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: The purpose of this paper is to flesh out the necessary elements for a successful consensus process, and tp see if they are being incorporated into those consensus processes that are facilitated by the government.
Link: creating energy.pdf
 


A Return to 'Traditional' Dispute Resolution: An Examination of Religious Dispute Resolution Systems
Author: Kellie Johnston, Gus Camelino & Roger Rizzo
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: This paper proceeds on the following framework. The first section examines the Jewish system of alternate dispute processes. Next, the Ismaili Muslim tradition of dispute resolution is held up as an example of a relatively new and international-based system that incorporates traditional religious practices into the resolution of disputes. Finally, the United Church Dispute Resolution Policy is explored.
Link: trad_dr.pdf
 


Amicable Dispute Resolution: The Mediation Alternative and the Alberta Environmental Appeal Board
Author: Ron Goltz
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: A look at the use of ADR within the Alberta Environmental Appeal Board.
Link: amicable_dr.pdf
 


Using Alternative Dispute Resolution to Respond to Indian Residential School Abuse
Author: Carla M. McGrath
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: In the context of the Residential School abuses, this paper explores the nature of the dispute, the parties' interests, and the primary mechanisms available to resolve the conflict, ultimately concluding that an ADR approach seems to have the greatest potential for meeting the parties' needs and interests.
Link: adr_residential_schools.pdf
 


Mediation in Federal Income Tax Disputes
Author: Chris Jaglowitz
Year and Publisher: 1999, University of Windsor, Faculty of Law
Description: The federal government and particularly the Department of Justice has announced the intention to more fully implement the use of such techniques as mediation and arbitration in the day to day conduct of its affairs. One area in which the use of mediation has been noticeably lacking is in the resolution of income tax disputes. This paper examines whether mediation could play a useful role in this area as well as why this method has historically been considered unsuitable for tax disputes.
Link: mediation_tax.pdf
 


Paradigms and Paradoxes: Mediation Advocacy and its Effect on Mediation, Mediators and Clients
Author: Christa Bracci & Reesha Hosein
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper
Description: This paper is an exploration of the effects on mediation, mediators, and clients when the participation of lawyers is institutionalized by the mandatory nature of the process.
Link: paradigms_paradoxes.pdf
 


Only For A Season: Mandatory Mediation As A Temporary Measure
Author: Stephen F.A. Peltz
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper, Carleton University
Description: This essay questions mandatory mediation, arguing in part that its integrity is only preserved if the participation is voluntary. It also outlines arguments in favour of mandatory mediation and weighs the pros and cons, ultimately concluding that it should not be set up as a permanent framework for mediation.
Link: only_for_a_season.pdf
 


Power in Mediation: An Analysis of the approach of St. Stephen's Community House
Author: Jon Ptak & Hari Viswanathan
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper
Description: This paper posits that examining the approach of Conflict Resolution Service, St. Stephen's Community House, and suggesting improvements with respect to a more effective management of bias and power can reveal practical implications which could further the goals of mediation. It is argued that though St. Stephen's has adopted numerous techniques which are useful in addressing issues of implicit bias and power, there are areas in which improvements can be made.
Link: power_in_mediation.pdf

 

Civil Justice System

The civil justice system within this context refers to the legal system as a whole that processes non-criminal legal matters. The papers within this section look at the assumptions that have been made and questions that can be asked about the operation of the system as a whole. Papers may look at any issues that can be characterized as important to the overall success or framework of civil justice.

A Single Trial Court for Alberta: Consultation Paper
Author: Alberta. Department of Justice and Attorney General
Year and Publisher: 2003, Alberta Justice
Description: The purpose of this paper is to encourage consideration of whether trial court unification is a viable option in Alberta. It comes after the government sought public opinion on how to improve the justice system, and found simplification of the system to be one message.
Link: single_trial_court_consult.pdf
 


A Single Trial Court as a Focus and a Catalyst for Change
Author: Cambridge Strategies Inc.
Year and Publisher: 2003, Alberta Justice
Description: This document looks at the suggestion that the Government of Alberta introduce a single trial court.
Link: single_trial_court_catalyst.pdf
 


Alberta's Justice System and You
Author: Alberta. Department of Justice and Attorney General
Year and Publisher: 2003, Alberta Justice
Description: This brochure gives the facts about the justice system, the major participants and the important roles that each plays. It is also intended to help one better understand the responsibilities of the provincial departments of Alberta Justice and Alberta Solicitor General.
Link: ab_justice_system.pdf
 


The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice: Project Evaluation: Final Report
Author: Rejeanne Lalonde & Beals, Lalonde & Associates
Year and Publisher: 2002, Department of Justice, Ottawa, Ontario
Description: This report describes the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice and its activities. The report presents answers to the evaluation questions posed by the Canadian Department of Justice.
Link: cfcj_project_eval.pdf
 


Canadians Support Power of Judges: Poll Shows most believe Courts should Interpret Laws of the Land
Author: Janice Tibbetts
Year and Publisher: 1999, Ottawa Citizen
Description: News article reporting that while Canadians support the power of judges generally, when it comes to certain controversial issues Canadian’s are split on whether judges should have the final say.
Link: power_of_judges.pdf
 


Preliminary Report of the Working Group on the Systems of Civil Justice [Quebec]
Author: Working Group on the Systems of Civil Justice [Quebec]
Year and Publisher: 1998, Canadian Bar Association, Ville de Québec, Québec
Description: This report offers a summary of the problematic aspects of civil justice in Quebec.
Link: systems_of_civil_justice.pdf

Context Specific Alternative Dispute Resolution

There are a variety of alternatives to the successful resolution of disputes other than trial such as mediation or arbitration. This collection of papers looks at the use of Alternative Dispute mechanisms within particular contexts or subject areas.

ADR for Internet Start-ups
Author: Andrew Cockwell & Steve Morris
Year and Publisher: 2000, Department of Justice Canada, Dispute Resolution Award in Law Studies
Description: This paper posits that the litigation process' failings are particularly acute to the sensitivities of Internet start-ups and consequently in order to address the arising concerns an alternative dispute resolution mechanism should be considered.
Link: adr_startups.pdf
 


International Commercial Arbitration/Mediation at CIETAC (China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission)
Author: Tanya Kozak
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper
Description: This paper posits that while the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission's blending of arbitration and mediation raises a number of important issues, commentary on CIETAC's preference to blend arbitration and mediation has been quintessentially theoretical and disregards the practical reality of the process. This article will assert that a number of criticisms directed at blending are of negligible force when examined in light of CIETAC's dispute resolution process in practice.
Link: international_commercial_arb.pdf


Mediation of Domain Name Disputes: A Flexible Tool for an Elusive Medium
Author: Alexander D.C. Kask
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper
Description: This paper looks at the application of intellectual property law to Internet related cases and posits that ADR may be applies to provide a preferable outcome for all parties involved.
Link: mediation_domain_names.pdf
 


New Directions: Divorce and Administrative Law
Author: Kathy Carmichael
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper
Description: The argument put forth in this paper is that in order to offer the best service to divorcing couples, the government should create a comprehensive administrative system that can provide services to meet every family member’s needs. It is posited that an administrative agency would offers the best structure for handling divorce in a non-adversarial manner as it has the flexibility to provide a wide range of functions and could allow divorcees to choose the services that will work best for them and their family.
Link: new_directions.pdf

 


Godi v. Toronto Transit Commission: A Case for Court-Mandated Mediation?
Author: Naomi Furmston
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper
Description: This paper provides an exploration of Godi v TTC through a detailed analysis of the case, including an examination of the roles played by each of the parties, namely; the judiciary, counsel for the accident victims and their families, and counsel for the defendants - the TTC. The case represented one of the first mass tort claims to be heard in Ontario and it occurred almost entirely via ADR.
Link: godi_v_toronto.pdf


Restorative Justice and the Incorporation of Dispute Resolution into the Criminal Justice System: Playing Devil's Advocate
Author: Andrew Montgomery
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper
Description: This paper looks at the use of ADR in restorative justice and asks what major pitfalls or risks are associated with the magnitude of change being considered.
Link: restorative_justice.pdf
 


Beyond Punishment: Moving towards the Application of Conciliatory Justice in the Canadian Context
Author: Krista Friesen
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper
Description: This paper argues that ADR should be incorporated into the criminal justice system, stating that “restorative justice is best implemented through an alternative stream of justice that involves mediation between the offender, the victim, and others that are affected by the criminal offence.”
Link: beyond_punishment.pdf
 


Human Rights Dispute Resolution: Protecting the "Public Interest"
Author: Tara Parker
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper
Description: This paper argues that that the assumption that the public interest would be better protected through an adjudicative process or the tribunal process is open to question.
Link: rights_dr.pdf
 


Dispute Resolution in Environmental Conflicts: Panacea or Placebo?
Author: Jennifer Girard
Year and Publisher: 1999, working paper
Description: This paper posits that “dispute resolution techniques are a very good fit with environmental conflicts and with some minor modifications, many of the criticisms of dispute resolution can be dealt with inside of the process.”
Link: dr_environmental.pdf
 

 

Cost of Justice

Equal access to a civil and family justice system that can uphold rights and fairly and effectively resolve disputes is a fundamental and far-reaching component of democratic societies. It influences our lives every day via contracts and credit situations, the ownership and distribution of property, family relationships and their breakdown, personal injury, benefit entitlements, human rights, and various corporate arrangements. Although there is a dearth of empirical research about this system in Canada and internationally, little is known about how well the civil justice system works: what it costs, who it serves, whether it is meeting the needs of users, or the ‘price’ of failing to do so, including but not limited to economic quantifications.

Links to related resources are listed below.

 

Legal aid in Canada: Resource and Caseload Statistics 2008/2009 = L'aide Juridique au Canada; Statistiques sur les Ressources et le Nombre de cas 2008/2009
Author: Statistics Canada
Year and Publisher: 2010, Statistics Canada
Description: Summarizes findings of Statistics Canada's annual Legal Aid Survey measuring expenditures in jurisdictions across Canada.
Link: http://www.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?catno=85F0015X&lang=eng
          http://www.statcan.gc.ca/bsolc/olc-cel/olc-cel?catno=85F0015X&lang=fra
 


AG de Jong Eliminates CSO Search Fees: A Victory for Access to Justice
Author: Dom Bautista
Year and Publisher: 2010, Briefly!
Description: Reports on the elimination of Court Services Online fees for registry searches.
Link: http://www.canadianparalegalinstitute.com/Resources/Documents/Briefly%20JulyAugust%202010.pdf
 


What does it Cost to Access Justice in Canada? How Much is "Too Much"? And How do we Know? Literature Review
Author: Kim Taylor & Ksenia Svechnikova
Year and Publisher: 2010, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: Literature review identifying publications related to the cost of justice, focusing on empirical studies.
Link: cost-litreview-en.pdf
 


Civil Litigation Costs Review - Final Report [Jackson Report]
Author: Rupert Jackson
Year and Publisher: 2010, Judiciary of England and Wales
Description: Final report of Lord Justice Jackson's review of and recommendations for the rules and principles governing the costs of civil litigation.
Link: http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/about_judiciary/cost-review/reports.htm
 


E-trials Save Money and Time, say Proponents
Author: Luigi Benetton
Year and Publisher: 2010, The Lawyers Weekly
Description: Describes increased efficiencies and reduced costs from using electronic documents during trial.
Link: http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&articleid=1143
 


Inventory of Reforms research: Research and support for the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters - Final report to the Canadian Bar Law for the Future Fund
Author: Alexandra Gousseva & Bradey Albrecht
Year and Publisher: 2009, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: Research on civil justice reform initiatives intended to reduce the cost of justice.
Link: inventory-lfff-en.pdf
 


Access to justice: Report on Selected Reform Initiatives In Canada = L'accès à la justice : Rapport sur Certaines Initiatives de Réforme au Canada
Author: Canadian Judicial Council. Administration of Justice Committee. Sub-committee on Access to Justice (Trial Courts)
Year and Publisher: 2008, Canadian Judicial Council
Description: Summary of research done by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice into reform initiatives across Canada.
Link: http://www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca/cmslib/general/2008_SelectedReformInitiatives_Report_final_EN.pdf 
          http://www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca/cmslib/general/2008_CertainesInitiativesReforme_Rapport_final_FR.pdf
 


Social, Economic and Health Problems Associated with a Lack of Access to the Courts
Author: Mary Stratton & Travis Anderson
Year and Publisher: 2008, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: This report is concerned with understanding social costs and consequences that arise from unresolved legal problems and from attempting to resolve such problems through the courts.
Link: cjsp-socialproblems-en.pdf
 


When Lawyers are only for the Rich
Author: Kate Lunau
Year and Publisher: 2009, Maclean’s
Description: Discusses current struggles citizens are experiencing with the Canadian legal system
Link: http://www.pblo.org/library/attachment.139376
 


A Nightmare in Family Court = L'Impasse du Droit de la Famille
Author: Bev Cline
Year and Publisher: 2008, National
Description: "Self-represented litigants are bringing family court proceedings to the verge of breakdown. Lawyers and legal aid providers are taking steps to help out, but the real problems, and solutions, may be much more challenging."
Link: http://cbanational.rogers.dgtlpub.com/2008/2008-06-30/pdf/a_nightmare_in_family_court.pdf
 


 

Court Structure, Administration and Reform

This collection of papers look at a range of topics surrounding the general structures and administrative procedures by which Canadian courts operate, including some discussions of potential improvements or recent reforms.

Government Response to the Report and Recommendations of the Unified Family Court Task Force
Author: Alberta. Department of Justice and Attorney General
Year and Publisher: 2002, Alberta Justice
Description: This document includes the recommendations to the government by the Unified Family Court Task Force as well as the government`s responses to these recommendations.
Link: gov_ufc.pdf
 


Federal Court Jurisdiction
Author: John D. Richard
Year and Publisher: 2001, presentation to the Administrative Law Subsection, Canadian Bar Association British Columbia
Description: A discussion of the Federal Court of Canada which explains among other things its jurisdiction and powers. The paper posits that there is an indispensable role for the Federal Court in Canada.
Link: fc_juris.pdf
 


Uniform Mediation Act: Discussion Paper
Author: M. Jerry McHale
Year and Publisher: 2000, paper presented at the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, Victoria B.C., August 2000
Description: The discussion within this paper states that from one point of view, it could be argued that uniform mediation legislation is premature in Canada at this point in time. On the other hand, it is written, perhaps some of the problems experienced in the U.S. could be avoided altogether if a uniform Canadian model for mediation legislation were developed now.
Link: uniform_mediation.pdf
 


Preliminary Report of the Working Group on the Systems of Civil Justice [Quebec]
Author: Working Group on the Systems of Civil Justice [Quebec]
Year and Publisher: 1998, Canadian Bar Association, Ville de Québec, Québec
Description: This report offers a summary of the problematic aspects of civil justice in Quebec.
Link: systems_of_civil_justice.pdf
 


Report of Will-Say Statements Working Group
Author: E. David D. Tavender et al.
Year and Publisher: 1998, Submission by Task Force subcommittee on Recommendation 15.
Description: This paper looks at whether it is useful and fair to require will-say documents in civil cases to compel early disclosure of anticipated evidence and assesses the impact of such a requirement on delay, costs and discovery (as per Recommendation No. 15).
Link: will-say.pdf
 


Draft of Individual Calendar Rules: Rule 38A
Author: John C. Bouck et al.
Year and Publisher: 1995, prepared for discussion purposes by the Rules Committee of the Individual Calendar Design Project Team
Description: This document is a Draft of the Individual Calendar Rules for Rule 38A.
Link: individual_calendar_rules.pdf
 


Courts on Trial in Pursuit of Quality and Excellence
Author: John C. Bouck
Year and Publisher: 1992, a paper delivered to the civil justice subsection of the Canadaian Bar Association on 19 March, 1992
Description:  The theme of this paper is: courts should change with the times. This paper includes among other things three suggested reforms to the Canadian Justice System in B.C., including the elimination of Third Reading Chambers (contested applications), the dispensing of the requirement of reasons for judgement in personal injury actions, and the need for a patterned jury instruction.
Link: courts_on_trial.pdf
 


Pilot Project: Dispensing with Written Reasons for Judgement in Personal Injury Actions
Author: John C. Bouck
Year and Publisher: 1992, working paper
Description: This paper is a proposal to institute a 24-month pilot project designed to assess the necessity of delivering comprehensive reasons for judgments in personal injury actions.
Link: dispensing_written.pdf

Delay

The Supreme Court of Canada has noted delays in the justice system as one of the challenges Canada currently faces. “Here… the problem afflicts both criminal and civil cases… On the civil side, different but similar problems arise. Whether the litigation has to do with a business dispute or a family matter, people need prompt resolution so they can get on with their lives. Often, they cannot wait for years for an answer. When delay becomes too great, the courts are no longer an option. People look for other alternatives. Or they simply give up on justice.” For More:  http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/court-cour/ju/spe-dis/bm07-03-08-eng.asp

Links to related resources are listed below.

Court Delays a Priority: Chief Justice / Canada's Top Judges Meet in Iqaluit
Author: CBC News
Year and Publisher: 2009, CBC.ca
Description: Reports on remarks by Chief Justice McLachin to a Canadian Judicial Council meeting in Iqaluit regarding reducing delay.
Link: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/north/story/2009/09/15/nunavut-judicial-council.html
 


Ontario may not meet Target on Court Delays
Author: The Canadian Press
Year and Publisher: 2012, CBC.ca
Description: Ontario's governing Liberals have their doubts about whether they'll be able to meet their own lofty target to cut down on court appearances that delay criminal cases.
Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2012/01/22/toronto-ontario-court-delay-target.html
 


Discovery Best Practices: General Guidelines for the Discovery Process in Ontario
Author: Ontario Bar Association
Year and Publisher: 2005, Ontario Bar Association
Description: Manual providing "a source of practical suggestions and tips to the profession that will help reduce unnecessary cost and delay in the discovery process."
Link: http://oba.org/en/pdf_newsletter/DTFGeneralDiscoverybest.pdf
 


Preliminary Report Regarding Rule 66 Trials
Author: Grant D. Burnyeat
Year and Publisher: 2000, Litigation Management Committee
Description: Assessment of the operation of fast track litigation via Rule 66.
Link: rule_66.pdf
See also: http://www.justiceeducation.ca/themes/framework/documents/bcschic_fast.pdf
 


Report of Will-Say Statements Working Group
Author: E. David D. Tavender et al.
Year and Publisher: 1998, Canadian Bar Association
Description: The Civil Justice Implementation Committee accepts the Will-Say Working Group’s recommendation that one or more pilot projects be established at suitable locations in order to obtain reliable data as to whether the use of pre-discovery witness’ summaries will assist in reducing discovery cost and delay and help parties to achieve earlier, effective settlements.
Link: will-say.pdf
 


 

Judicial Dispute Resolution

Judicial Dispute Resolution, or ‘JDR’, is a voluntary and confidential dispute resolution process. The process usually takes place within a courthouse conference room or occasionally within the judge’s office. While the process can vary from courthouse to courthouse and can depend on the preferences of the parties or the judge, the parties involved will generally submit briefs in advance to the judge containing the facts and legal arguments surrounding the case. After oral submissions by the parties, the judge will often give a non-binding opinion on the case which is intended to help facilitate a settlement. In Calgary; however, most of the judges do not give a formal opinion but rather attempt to work with the parties to reach a settlement. If the parties cannot reach a settlement, and if the case goes to trial, a different judge will preside over the trial.

Links to related resources are listed below.

The Multi-Door Courthouse is Open in Alberta: Judicial Dispute Resolution is institutionalized in the Court of the Queen’s Bench
Author: The Honourable John Daniel Rooke (Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta)
Year and Publisher: 2010, University of Alberta, Faculty of Law
Description: Based upon empirical research data, the author’s judicial experience, and legal literature research, it is asserted that the Court’s JDR Program has become an integral, normative, and institutional part of the resolution of disputes litigated in the Court.
Link: multidoor_courthouse.pdf
 


Improving Excellence: Evaluation of the Judicial Dispute Resolution Program in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta (Evaluation Report)
Author: The Honourable John Daniel Rooke (Associate Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta)
Year and Publisher: 2009, Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta
Description: This Evaluation Report assesses the Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) Program in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, based on empirical Survey Questionnaire (Survey) data supplied by lawyers and clients who participated in 606 JDRs for the year ending June, 2008.
Link: improving_excellence.pdf
 


A Handbook on Judicial Dispute Resolution for Canadian Lawyers
Author: The Honourable John A. Agrios (Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta), additional commentary by Janice A. Agrios
Year and Publisher: 2004, The Canadian Bar Association: Alberta Branch
Description: This handbook is intended as a resource for lawyers who practice in the field of judicial dispute resolution. It includes many of the procedures and ideas that Alberta Queen’s Bench judges have learned from experience, both good and bad. It also raises some of the ongoing problems within JDR.
Link: jdr_handbook.pdf
 


 

Litigation Process and Management

The papers within this section look at the procedures throughout the litigation process as well as some of the management that occurs throughout the process.

Preliminary Report Regarding Rule 66 Trials
Author: Grant D. Burnyeat
Year and Publisher: 2000, memorandum presented to the Litigation Management Committee
Description: This memorandum is a preliminary evaluation of the trials that have been set pursuant to Rule 66, from September 1, 1998 to September 1, 2000. Rule 66 attempts to speed up the litigation process and while many of the steps in the litigation process remain the same they have been condensed and shortened.
Link: rule_66.pdf
 


Caseflow Management Procedure Manual for Litigants
Author: Nova Scotia Supreme Court Bench Rules Committee & Caseflow Management Committee
Year and Publisher: 1998, Supreme Court of Nova Scotia (Halifax)
Description: This document is a manual for litigants explaining the procedures involved in caseflow management.
Link: caseflow_manual.pdf
 


Interim Survey Results and Changes to CFM [Caseflow Management]
Author: Nova Scotia Court Administration Office
Year and Publisher: 1998, Court Administration Office, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Description: This document is a response to questions about the implemented caseflow management, and includes changes to be implemented.
Link: cmpp_1998.pdf
 


Caseflow Management Pilot Project Update (as of October 6, 1997)
Author: Nova Scotia Court Administration Office
Year and Publisher: 1997, Court Administration Office, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Description: Since the implementation of the caseflow management project (controlling the movement of cases through the court process) on January 2, 1996, questions were received. This document outlines the answers to those questions.
Link: cmpp_1997_oct.pdf
 


Caseflow Management Pilot Project Update (as of December 2, 1997)
Author: Nova Scotia Court Administration Office
Year and Publisher: 1997, Court Administration Office, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Description: Since the implementation of the caseflow management project (controlling the movement of cases through the court process) on January 2, 1996, questions were received. This document outlines the answers to those questions.
Link: cmpp_1997_dec.pdf
 


Overview Paper: Individual Calendar System of Case Management: a pilot project
Author: John C. Bouck
Year and Publisher: 1995, working paper
Description: At the annual meeting of the judges in May of 1994, Chief Justice Esson (Supreme Court of British Columbia) and the judges of the court approved the design of an Individual Calendar System of Case Management (the ICS) Pilot Project. This paper attempts to describe how the ICS Pilot Project will function if it is put into operation.
Link: individual_calendar_system.pdf

Miscellaneous

Explore a range of resources on varying legal topics.

Judicial Independence and the Financial Support of the Court
Author: The Honourable Derek Green (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Trial Division)
Year and Publisher: 2004, Notes from an address delivered to the Newfoundland Branch of the Canadian Bar Association on Thursday, January 29, 2004.
Description: Argues herein that “the manner in which the court is funded and administered does impact on judicial independence and what we – judges, lawyers, and justice officials who are major stakeholders in the court system… ought to be concerned about this.”
Link: judicial_independence.pdf
 


Stakeholder Input on the Single Trial Court Initiative: Interim Report to Alberta Justice: Phase One
Author: Cambridge Strategies Inc.
Year and Publisher: 2003, Cambridge Strategies Inc., via Alberta Justice
Description: “Cambridge Strategies Inc. was retained by Alberta Justice to hold stakeholder engagement consultations throughout Alberta based on the justice system reforms and relating to the Single Trial Court initiative.” The paper concludes that “people cannot decide whether developing a single trial court with specialized areas, or increasing alternative measures, will reduce the barriers to justice until they have more information as to how the reforms will work, and what possible outcomes they will achieve.”
Link: single_trial_court_interim.pdf18576-single_trial_court_interim.pdf
 


Contemplating Aboriginal Reality in the Current Justice System: An Introduction
Author: Sonya Guiboche
Year and Publisher: 2000, working paper
Description: In the context of Aboriginal differential treatment issues, this paper seeks to demonstrate that every aspect of conflict resolution is influenced by culture including the foundations of the conflict, the identity of the parties, identification and articulation of the issues, who should intervene, what processes will be used, and what results are desirable.
Link: aboriginal_reality.pdf
 


Restorative Justice in Urban Aboriginal Communities
Author: Irene Plett
Year: 2000, working paper
Description: This paper considers the practice of restorative justice as it relates to aboriginal offenders in urban communities, where there has been the greatest resistance to implementing change.
Link: restorative_justice.pdf
 


“Let's play Twister, let's play Risk, yeah, yeah yeah”: An Analysis of Discovery Abuse in Civil Litigation
Author: Philip Osborne & Dan Weinstock
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper
Description: This paper looks at whether abuses within the discovery process must be accepted as an inevitable by-product of their position within an adversarial system or whether there are solutions to such abuse.
Link: twister.pdf
 


The Constitutional Obligation to Mediate: An Appeal for Justice for the Innu of Labrador
Author: Daniel Sipes
Year and Publisher: 2001, working paper, Queens University, Faculty of Law
Description: In this paper, the author argues that Canadian government’s duty of consultation requires public governments to engage in mediated self-government negotiations with aboriginal peoples as a matter of state policy and fundamental justice in order to reconcile the past infringement of aboriginal rights.
Link: obligation_mediate.pdf
 


ICANN, You can, We all can: But is the UDRP Fair?
Author: Jaqueline Horvat
Year: 2001, working paper
Description: In an era of growing trademark disputes due in large part to the explosion of the Internet, this paper looks at the “Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy" developed by the "Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers" to aid trademark owners in regaining domain names from cyber squatters, and asks ultimately whether or not the processes are fair for all participants.
Link: icann.pdf
 


Canadian Bar Association / Fraser Institute Corporate Counsel Survey
Author: Canadian Bar Association & Fraser Institute
Year and Publisher: 1995, Canadian Bar Association & Fraser Institute
Description: The results of the survey distributed to members of the Canadian Corporate Counsel Association. The Purpose of the survey is to obtain the views of corporate counsel regarding cost and delay factors in the resolution of civil justice disputes. It also seeks to understand the main causes of cost and delay.
Link: corporate_counsel_survey.pdf
 


Report on Family Law Research in Nunavut
Author: Kelly Gallagher-Mackay
Year and Publisher: 2003, Justice Canada
Description: Some of the mentioned purposes of this research paper include: developing data on family law matters such as adoption, divorces, separation and use of services, as well as gathering evidence concerning how families in Nunavut, particularly the majority Inuit population, manage and deal with family law matters at the community level.
Link: family_law_nu.pdf

 

Pro Bono Services

Pro bono publico is a Latin term meaning "for the public good." For lawyers today, pro bono means to voluntarily contribute part of their time without charge or at substantially reduced rates, to establish or preserve the rights of disadvantaged individuals. Such pro bono work may also consist of providing legal services to assist organizations who represent the interests of, or who work on behalf of, members of the community of limited means or other public interest organizations, or for the improvement of laws or the legal system. Pro bono is to be distinguished from legal aid provided via government institutions and funds.

Links to related resources are listed below.

 

Pro Bono Québec, le Rapport Annuel 2011 – 2012 (French Only)
Author: Pro Bono Québec
Year and Publisher: 2012, Pro Bono Québec
Description: Annual report for Pro Bono Québec, a service matching lawyers providing pro bono representation with litigants unable to afford a lawyer.
Link: http://www.probonoquebec.ca/documents/file/rapport-annuel-etats-financiers-2011-2012.pdf
 


Legal Services for the Poor: Access, Self-interest, and Pro Bono
Author: Stephen Daniels & Joanne Martin
Year and Publisher: 2009, Emerald Group Publishing
Description: Study investigating implications of increased provision of legal services through pro bono work rather than government funding.
Link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1357680
 


Integrating Pro Bono and Legal Aid
Author: Jamie Maclaren
Year and Publisher: 2009, The Lawyers Weekly
Description: Proposes that rising pro bono initiatives should be more closely integrated with government-provided legal aid programs.
Link: http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&articleid=1030
 


Access Pro Bono
Author: Access Pro Bono Society of BC
Year and Publisher: 2010, Access Pro Bono Society of BC
Description: Web site of Access Pro Bono, an organization with the mission of promoting access to justice by providing pro bono services. Access Pro Bono was formed from a merger of the Western Canada Society to Access Justice and Pro Bono Law of British Columbia.
Link: http://www.accessprobono.ca/
 


"Provincial Pro Bono Initiatives get a Helping Hand from Firms"
Author: Valerie Mutton
Year and Publisher: 2007, The Lawyers Weekly
Description: Taking a look at lawyer’s who get involved in bro bono work.
Link: http://www.lawyersweekly.ca/index.php?section=article&articleid=596
 


Partner Profile: Pro Bono Law Ontario
Author: Probono.net
Year and Publisher: 2010, Probono.net News
Description: A profile of Pro Bono Law Ontario’s Self-help Centre
Link: http://www.news.probono.net/e_article001645737.cfm?x=bgvHgyt,b2dvWSh4


 

Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI)

Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI) is defined as "an activity that seeks in a systematic way to provide people with the opportunity to obtain information about the law and the justice system in a form that is timely and appropriate to their needs, but does not include advocacy or representation on behalf of individuals, nor the provision of legal advice" (Department of Justice Access to Justice Agreement 2007-2009).

Links to related resources are listed below.

LawMatters at Your Local Public Library; A History of BC’s Program for Public Legal Information and Education in Public Libraries
Author: Janet Freeman, Nancy Hannum
Year and Publisher: 2015, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: An article that charts the growing role of public libraries and public librarians as partners in access to legal information in British Columbia
Link: http://www.cfcj-fcjc.org/sites/default/files//A%20History%20of%20LawMatters%20at%20your%20local%20public%20library.pdf
 


Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI)
Author: Department of Justice
Year and Publisher: 2011, PLEI Coordination and Resource Unit, Programs Branch, Department of Justice
Description: Explanation of PLEI and the ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘what’ and ‘who’ behind the government programs.
Link: http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pb-dgp/prog/plei-pvij.html
 


Interim Report on Law Help Ontario
Author: Toby Young et al.
Year and Publisher: 2008, Pro Bono Law Ontario
Description: “In December 2007, Pro Bono Law Ontario (PBLO) launched Law Help Ontario (LHO), a two year pilot project at 393 University Avenue funded by The Law Foundation of Ontario, with a mandate to improve access to justice for low-income, unrepresented Ontarians with civil matters before the Superior Court of Justice who face barriers relating to the procedural and substantive aspects of their cases.”
Link: http://www.pblo.org/library/attachment.130707
 


Target: Fair and Reasonable Public Access to All Legal Information - Improving Access to Justice = Objectif: Accès équitable et Raisonnable du Public à toute l'Information Juridique - Amélioration de l'Accès à la Justice
Author: Kathryn Arbuckle
Year and Publisher: 2005, News & Views on Civil Justice Reform; Idées et actualités sur la réforme de la justice civile
Description: “…our experience over the past year indicates a content gap in the range of legal information generally available to the public and that available in proprietary resources widely used by the legal community. This can result in a limiting of access to justice for self-represented litigants and unrepresented accused.”
Link: newsviews08-en.pdf
          newsviews08-fr.pdf
 


McGuinty Government Launches "Justice Ontario" Website and Hotline
Author: Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Year and Publisher: 2008, Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General
Description: "A new one-stop entry point will help Ontarians find answers about their justice system."
Link: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/news/2008/20080827-jo-nr.asp
 


The Internet has become Indispensible to the Legal World
Author: Ian Mulgrew
Year and Publisher: 2008, Vancouver Sun
Description: “The Internet should be the first stop for anyone interested in launching a lawsuit, learning about the law, keeping abreast of a particular case or following legal debates.”
Link: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/story.html?id=78d4ab4e-329f-4fc9-a420-9f39fd9628be
 


Evaluation of Public Legal Education and Information: An Annotated Bibliography
Author: Lindsay Cader
Year and Publisher: 2002, Department of Justice Canada, Research and Statistics Division
Description: This annotated bibliography digests academic literature, government documents and program reports regarding the evaluation of public legal education and information (PLEI). In collecting materials for review, emphasis was placed on the Canadian PLEI context and materials that have been produced over the last five years.
Link: plei_evaluation.pdf
 


 

Self-Represented Litigants

With the number of self-represented litigants increasing, especially within domestic relation cases, some courts are responding by improving access to justice and making courts more user-friendly by simplifying court forms, providing one-on-one assistance, developing guides, handbooks, and instructions on how to proceed pro se. While this has empowered people to solve their own problems and improve the public’s trust and confidence in the courts, it has also presented challenges for access to justice.

Links to related resources are listed below.

 

Self-help Programs & Resources
Author: Justice Education Society
Year and Publisher: 2010, Justice Education Society
Description: This site includes documents written to assist self represented litigants negotiate the court system.
Link: http://www.justiceeducation.ca/resources/self-help-resources
 


A Study of Self Represented Litigants in the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island
Author: Ann Sherman
Year and Publisher: 2008, CLIA PEI
Description: The project was designed to find out what types of services might realistically be developed and supported to assist self-represented litigants (SRLs) in the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island.
Link: http://www.cliapei.ca/sitefiles/File/Project%20Files/SRL%20Report.pdf
 


Alberta Self-Represented Litigants Mapping Project: Final Report
Author: Mary Stratton
Year and Publisher: 2007, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Description: Report from research project designed to document the range of government and non-government services and supports currently available to self-represented litigants in Alberta.
Link: mapping-en.pdf
 


"Cross Country Snapshots - Family Courts in Transition = Aperçu Transcanadien - Le Tribunal de la Famille en Transition"
Author: Canadian Forum on Civil Justice
Year and Publisher: 2007, News & Views on Civil Justice Reform = Idées et actualités sur la réforme de la justice civile
Description: “As the Civil Justice System & the Public researchers travelled across Canada between April 2002 and May 2004, team members often observed family court. Family Court - Coast to Coast is an edited, composite narrative created from these observations.”
Link: newsviews10-en.pdf
newsviews10-fr.pdf
 


Early Self-help for Litigants without Lawyers; Initiatives Personnelles Précoces pour Plaideurs sans Avocat
Author: M. Jerry McHale
Year and Publisher: 2006, Into the Future: The Agenda for Civil Justice Reform / Vers le futur: ordre du jour de la réforme de la justice civile
Description: About the provision of information, advice and referral services to self-represented litigants.
Link: mchale-en.pdf
         mchale-fr.pdf
 


Responding to the Needs of Unrepresented Litigants: A call to Action; Répondre aux Besoins des Parties non Représentées: Appel à l'Action
Author: Jeffrey S. Leon
Year and Publisher: 2006, Into the Future: The Agenda for Civil Justice Reform / Vers le futur: ordre du jour de la réforme de la justice civile
Description: Overview of the causes and incidence of unrepresented litigations, and suggested responses needed.
Link: leon-en.pdf
 leon-fr.pdf
 


 

Technology

This area of study looks at how the use of technology in courts and throughout the justice system could be improved to better support the legal needs of citizens. Some types of courtroom technology that have been advocated as opportunities to save clients time and money include video conferencing, in court document management systems, electronic document displays, among other electronic filing of documents, and electronic discovery of documents.

Links to related resources are listed below.

 

A Brave New World: Justice Innovation in Canada = Le Meilleur des Mondes : L'Innovation en Justice au Canada
Author: Association of Canadian Court Administrators
Year and Publisher: 2010, Association of Canadian Court Administrators
Description: Results from a cross-Canada survey on "technology supported business re-engineering" initiatives.
Link: http://www.acca-aajc.ca/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=o8w8rIFKOGM%3d&tabid=189&mid=701
 


The Impact of Technology on Courts and Judicial Ethics: An Overview
Author: Karen Eltis: (L. Sossin, A. Dodek, eds.)
Year and Publisher: 2009, University of Toronto Press
Description: “In an effort to alert judges to up-and-coming matters deriving from the use of technology, the following will first endeavor to highlight issues arising from the interplay between technology and judging. It will then more specifically address two of the referenced issues namely, the networked environment's ramifications for out-of-court judicial expression and judicial use of online resources (including search engines and Wikipedia) as it relates to competence and diligence, inter alia.”
Link: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1304619
 


Lawyering for the Future
Author: Glenn Lauth
Year and Publisher: 2009, Canadian Lawyer
Description: Discussing the possibilities of moving lawyering to a more electronic platform to save time and money.
Link: http://www.canadianlawyermag.com/Lawyering-for-the-future.html
 


Court Technology SCAN - Canadian Centre for Court Technology = La Justice et les Nouvelles Technologies - Le Centre Canadien de Technologie Judiciaire
Author: Daniel Poulin & Fran Kiteley
Year and Publisher: 2006, News & Views on Civil Justice Reform = Idées et Actualités sur la Réforme de la Justice Civile
Description: On August 17, 2005 in Vancouver, approximately 60 representatives of the justice sector participated in an exciting Forum to explore the prospects of establishing a Canadian Centre for Court Technology. After many years of attending at Court Technology Conferences (CTC’s) in the United States offered by the National Center for State Courts, there was a view that perhaps a “made in Canada” alternative ought to be explored.
Link: newsviews09-en.pdf
newsviews09-fr.pdf
 


Open Courts, Electronic Access to Court Records, and Privacy: Discussion paper prepared on behalf of the Judges Technology Advisory CommitteeAuthor: Canadian Judicial Council & Judges Technology Advisory Committee
Year and Publisher: 2003, Canadian Judicial Council & Judges Technology Advisory Committee
Description: Based on a review of jurisprudence established by the Supreme Court of Canada, JTAC has concluded that the right of the public to open courts is an important constitutional rule, that the right of an individual to privacy is a fundamental value, and that the right to open courts generally outweighs the right to privacy. This discussion paper further develops the many policy and logistical issues which arise when courts accommodate electronic filing and electronic retrieval of court records and docket information.
Link: http://www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca/cmslib/general/news_pub_techissues_OpenCourts_20030904_en.pdf
 


Videoconferencing in British Columbia
Author: Julian Borkowski
Year and Publisher: 2003, Association of Canadian Court Administrators Annual Conference September 14-17, 2003
Description: Court Services Branch has created a provincial network for videoconferencing in courts and correctional centres. Our vision is that “videoconferencing is a regular part of daily operations which will be used whenever appropriate, to reduce or avoid movement of prisoners, witnesses and judges and to expedite the timely progress of cases.” The paper gives an overview of BC’s network, responses and feedback, benefits and potential future improvements.
Link: videoconferencing.pdf
 


Use of Technology at the Supreme Court of Canada
Author: Barbara Kincaid
Year and Publisher: 2003, Association of Canadian Court Administrators Annual Conference September 14-17, 2003
Description: The Supreme Court of Canada has been a leader in incorporating technology into court functions. This paper will outline briefly the advances in electronic filing at the Supreme Court of Canada as well as some of the other uses of technology at the Court.
Link: scc_tech.pdf
 


Paper Optional (Benefits in using electronically signed documents)
Author: Peter Baran
Year and Publisher: 2003, Association of Canadian Court Administrators Annual Conference September 14-17, 2003
Description: “…most legal transactions stubbornly still involve paper. Why is there still so much paper in the legal system? The technical and legal reasons have largely fallen away over the past decade. The last remaining impediment appears to be largely horse and buggy thinking.”
Link: paper_optional.pdf
 


 

Civil Justice System

The civil justice system within this context refers to the legal system as a whole that processes non-criminal legal matters. The papers within this section look at the assumptions that have been made and questions that can be asked about the operation of the system as a whole. Papers may look at any issues that can be characterized as important to the overall success or framework of civil justice.

A Single Trial Court for Alberta: Consultation Paper
Author: Alberta. Department of Justice and Attorney General
Year and Publisher: 2003, Alberta Justice
Description: The purpose of this paper is to encourage consideration of whether trial court unification is a viable option in Alberta. It comes after the government sought public opinion on how to improve the justice system, and found simplification of the system to be one message.
Link: single_trial_court_consult.pdf
 


A Single Trial Court as a Focus and a Catalyst for Change
Author: Cambridge Strategies Inc.
Year and Publisher: 2003, Alberta Justice
Description: This document looks at the suggestion that the Government of Alberta introduce a single trial court.
Link: single_trial_court_catalyst.pdf
 


Alberta's Justice System and You
Author: Alberta. Department of Justice and Attorney General
Year and Publisher: 2003, Alberta Justice
Description: This brochure gives the facts about the justice system, the major participants and the important roles that each plays. It is also intended to help one better understand the responsibilities of the provincial departments of Alberta Justice and Alberta Solicitor General.
Link: ab_justice_system.pdf
 


The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice: Project Evaluation: Final Report
Author: Rejeanne Lalonde & Beals, Lalonde & Associates
Year and Publisher: 2002, Department of Justice, Ottawa, Ontario
Description: This report describes the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice and its activities. The report presents answers to the evaluation questions posed by the Canadian Department of Justice.
Link: cfcj_project_eval.pdf
 


Canadians Support Power of Judges: Poll Shows most believe Courts should Interpret Laws of the Land
Author: Janice Tibbetts
Year and Publisher: 1999, Ottawa Citizen
Description: News article reporting that while Canadians support the power of judges generally, when it comes to certain controversial issues Canadian’s are split on whether judges should have the final say.
Link: power_of_judges.pdf
 


Preliminary Report of the Working Group on the Systems of Civil Justice [Quebec]
Author: Working Group on the Systems of Civil Justice [Quebec]
Year and Publisher: 1998, Canadian Bar Association, Ville de Québec, Québec
Description: This report offers a summary of the problematic aspects of civil justice in Quebec.
Link: systems_of_civil_justice.pdf

This list of resources was last updated in Jul 17, 2013:custom:F, Jul 17, 2013:custom:Y.