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Self-Represented Litigants

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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