Association of Canadian Court Administrators (ACCA) 2011 White Paper
Trevor Farrow and Diana Lowe of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice along with Bradley Albrecht, Heather Manweiller and Martha E. Simmons are the authors of ACCA's 2011 White Paper Addressing the Needs of Self-Represented Litigants in the Canadian Justice System. This paper takes an in-depth look at the specific challenges faced by self-represented litigants (SRLs). Recommendations presented in this paper stress the need for a multi-option approach to legal assistance that effectively matches available services with the primary needs of SRLs.
Rural & Remote Access to Justice Project
For the almost twenty percent of Canadians living in rural and remote communities, access to legal services and legal information presents significant challenges.
In 2015, through a partnership with the Rural and Remote Access to Justice Boldness Project, the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice produced Rural and Remote Access to Justice, A Literature Review. In this Review, lead authors, Nicole Aylwin and Lisa Moore, explore the meaning of the terms “rural” and “remote” and look at access to justice challenges in both settings. The Review also examines what existing research tells us about the differences between rural and urban communities and, how others around the world have faced these issues.
The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice also worked with the Rural and Remote Access to Justice Boldness Project to produce “Just in Time” research on smartphone applications that could form the bases to develop a rural access to justice application, as well as “Just in Time” research on tools and platforms that could be used to conduct intake assessment and document storage in a clinic context. Both research documents are available here.
In May, 2016, the Rural and Remote Access to Justice Boldness Project published an infographic on rural and remote access to justice, that was also produced by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice. The infographic is posted here.
Evolving Legal Services in Canada and Access to Justice
Canadian Forum on Civil Justice Executive Director Les Jacobs is a member of the Research Advisory Group for Evolving Legal Services in Canada and Access to Justice, a project being led by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO).
Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI) has become a critical component in the continuum of legal services delivered across the justice system. With governments (and funders) facing fiscal challenges to funding of programs and services, there is an increased reliance on PLEI, including online legal information, ‘self help programs’, and other limited assistance services, as a less costly way to help low and middle income Canadians address their legal issues and thereby access justice. To ensure that resources are spent wisely, it is important to know when these PLEI programs are effective and provide meaningful access to justice to individuals. This is the key question of the Evolving Legal Services research project.