International Forum to Explore Challenges and New Developments in Access to Civil Justice

The International Access to Justice Forum 2023, jointly organized by the University of California Irvine (UCI) Law Initiative for Inclusive Civil Justice and Victoria Law Foundation, will take place from October 11-13, 2023 at UCI Law. The international conference aims to bring together scholars, researchers, practitioners, and court and dispute resolution experts to share insights on new developments and discuss ongoing challenges in access to civil justice. Organizers invite presentations on a range of topics based in civil justice.  The deadline to submit proposals is May 31, 2023. Register for the International Access to Justice Forum by June 30, 2023.

For more information, or to submit a proposal, please visit:

New Book Offers Insights on Access to Justice across Rural Areas Globally

A newly published book explores access to justice in rural areas in internationally comparable contexts.  Access to Justice in Rural Communities: Global Perspectives edited by Daniel Newman and Faith Gordon highlights diverse social, geographic and cultural issues affecting how rural communities experience the justice system, how these experiences might differ from those of urban areas, and impacts of policy changes on access to justice in rural areas.

Access to Justice in Rural Communities: Global Perspectives includes the following chapters:

Foreword, Russell Hogg (University of New South Wales, Australia)

1. Rural Access to Justice, Daniel Newman (Cardiff University, UK) and Faith Gordon (The Australian National University, Australia)

2. A Survey of Policy Responses to the Rural Attorney Shortage in the United States, Kelly V Beskin (University of California, USA) and Lisa R Pruitt (University of California, USA)

3. Alcohol Laws, Rural Communities and Access to Justice in Kenya, Joseph K Rono (Moi University, Kenya) and Emmanuel K Bunei (University of New England, Australia)

4. Accessibility to Justice for Rural Livestock Farmers in Selected Provinces of South Africa: Rural Communities and the Justice System, Witness Maluleke (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa)

5. Why Doesn’t a Mother Whose Son was Murdered Seek Justice? A Critical Approach to the Relationship between Socio-Cultural Structure and Access to Justice in Rural Communities by Reconstructing the Sabahattin Ali’s Kagni (The Oxcart) Short Story, Murat Madenüs (Turkish General Command of Gendarmerie, Turkey)

6. Rethinking Access to Justice for Indigenous Peoples, Fiona Allison (James Cook University, Australia) and Chris Cunneen (University of Technology Sydney, Australia)

7. Barriers to Access to Justice for Members of the Traveller Community: Rediscrimination within the Equality System, Fiona Donson (University College Cork, Ireland) and Samantha Morgan-Williams (University College Cork, Ireland)

8. Older Victims, Legal Need and Access to Justice in Rural Communities in Northern Ireland, Faith Gordon (The Australian National university, Australia) and Kevin J Brown (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)

9. Litigants in Person and Rural Family Justice in England and Wales, Jess Mant (Monash University, Australia)

10. Overcoming Geographic Barriers: Towards a Framework for Facilitating Legal Service Delivery in Rural Communities in Canada, Lisa Moore (Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Canada)

11. Conceptualising Rural Access to Justice as Supply Chains Primed for Transformation, Amanda L Kool (Sharebite, USA) and Hannah Haksgaard (University of South Dakota, USA)

12. ‘Restorative What?’ Young People’s Experiences of Accessing Justice in Rural Syria, Adnan Mouhiddin (Coventry University, UK)

13. A Retrospective on Rural Legal Service Provision: Lessons Emerging from International Research, Kim Economides (University of Southern Queensland, Australia) and Charles Watkins (University of Nottingham, UK)

14. Access to Rural Justice: Domestic Violence in Rural America, Ziwei Qi (Fort Hays State University, USA) and Christy Craig (Fort Hays State University, USA)

15. Rural Access to Justice and Beyond: Dimensions of Access as a Criterion for Understanding Lay Users’ Satisfaction with Remote Justice, Olumide Adisa (University of Suffolk, UK), Sue James (Cardiff University, UK) and Daniel Newman (Cardiff University, UK)

Afterword, Michele Statz (University of Minnesota, USA)

Access to Justice in Rural Communities: Global Perspectives was published by Hart Publishing. Additional information is available here:

(Information for this post was gleaned from:

New Research Collection Explores Costs and Benefits of Community-Based Justice

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (CFCJ) has announced the publication of a series of reports and other research publications that examine the costs and benefits of community-based justice initiatives globally. The research stems from a collaborative, multi-country, multi-year study with research teams at the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice in Canada, the Centre for Community Justice and Development in South Africa, the Centre for Alternative Policy Research and Innovation in Sierra Leone, and the Katiba Institute in Kenya.

The main objectives of the Community-Based Justice Research (CBJR) project were:

(1)          Identify and assess the costs to justice seekers and providers of locally accessible justice services relative to the outcomes of these justice services; and,

(2)          Based on research insights, explore the potential to better support and scale community-based justice programs for broader impacts.

The project has resulted in a rich collection of reports, papers, blogs and other resources, including:

View the full CBJR research collection on the CFCJ website here:

The Community-Based Justice Research project was funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

BC Launches Cross-Ministry Indigenous Justice Secretariat

In keeping with a commitment outlined in the BC First Nations Justice Strategy, the Government of British Columbia has announced the launch of the Indigenous Justice Secretariat, which will work to address the overrepresentation of and disproportionate impacts on Indigenous Peoples in the justice system and Indigenous children and youth in care. According to a press release from the BC Attorney General’s Office, “the BC First Nations Justice Strategy is designed by and for Indigenous Peoples to reform the colonial justice system and revitalize Indigenous legal practices and was endorsed by the Province and the BC First Nations Justice Council (BCFNJC) in 2020.”

The cross-ministry Indigenous Justice Secretariat will be housed within the BC Ministry of the Attorney General. It will be led by Métis-Cree lawyer and assistant deputy minister, Colleen Spier.

For more information about the access to justice goals of the newly launched Indigenous-led secretariat, or to view the BC Government’s press release, please visit:

Digital Credentials Project Launches Province-Wide in B.C.

Following a pilot project phase that included more than 250 family lawyers in B.C., the province is expanding its Member Digital Credential project.

A news release by The Law Society of British Columbia describes digital credentials as an innovative solution that enables lawyers to securely identify themselves online, provides a more efficient and cost-effective way to interact with courts and government services, and allows access to online court materials.”

The now two-year old Member Digital Credential project will expand in stages, beginning with a phased rollout in family law and criminal law.

The Member Portal can be accessed online at: Questions about the Member Digital Credential can be sent to

Statistics Canada Launches Municipal and Local Data Portal

Statistics Canada – in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities – announced the launch of the Centre for Municipal and Local Data (CMLD) portal.

The CMLD aims to serve as a clearinghouse for consistent and comparable municipal data, while “empower[ing] municipalities through timely, trusted and reliable data.”

The portal includes:

  • a data integration and visualisation tool which displays a set of key indicators geographically;
  • a data catalogue of statistics and indicators relevant to municipalities, such as the integration of census data, as well as housing, health and crime statistics;
  • a municipal mapping function;
  • a municipal financial and socioeconomic dashboard which currently allows for comparisons across 35 Canadian cities on standard financial indicators, including those relating to infrastructure spending, as well as allowing integration of selected socioeconomic indicators

Statistics Canada and the FCM invite stakeholders and the public to check the portal regularly as new data and features will continue to be added.

The recently launched Centre for Municipal and Local Data can be accessed online at:

Some details about the CMLD in this post were copied from a news release from Statistics Canada’s Stakeholder Relations and Engagement Division.

Canadian Government Seeking Input on Immigration System

The Canadian government is seeking input on the future of Canada’s immigration system. Until April 2023, the government is engaging stakeholders across Canada to collect feedback on:

  • How Canada’s immigration system can better support Canada’s future economic and social goals;
  • What works about the current immigration system;
  • Changes that would make the current system more successful, and milestones for future successes; and,
  • How Canada can best meet the needs of newcomers

Members of the public can share their views via a 15-minute online survey, available in French and English:

The survey closes on April 27, 2023.

Government of Nova Scotia Seeking Feedback from Justice System Users

A digital task force, led by the Department of Justice and the Nova Scotia Judiciary, has launched a public survey to gather information from court system users in Nova Scotia. The goal of the survey is to identify areas for improvement in Nova Scotia’s court system and areas where the courts are working well.

The survey represents the second step in the task force’s information-gathering efforts. Interviews were previously carried out with Nova Scotia court staff, judges, lawyers and others with a view to learning areas where the court system is overwhelmed; the types of guidance that are provided by the court system; the types of electronic filing and document management systems that are being used in the court system; when remote court attendance is being used and how it is working; and, in what ways the justice system can better address the need for more access to information. Findings from the survey will help to inform next steps in modernizing Nova Scotia’s courts using technology and digitization.

The public survey will remain open until March 31. It can be accessed online here:

Recently Revived Law Commission of Canada Launches Website

The recently revived Law Commission of Canada has launched its website. First established in 1971 and revived and funded under the 2021 federal budget, the Law Commission of Canada is a statutory body with a mandate to provide “independent advice on improvements, modernization and reform for a just legal system that meets the changing needs of Canadian society”. The website provides an overview of the Law Commission’s mandate, background and principles. The Law Commission’s efforts to make the Canadian justice system more accessible and efficient will be outlined in an annual report.

Visit the Law Commission website in English here: et en français ici :

The Law Commission of Canada Act is available online here:

The Law Commission of Canada is available on Twitter at @LawCommCan et @CommDroitCan.

Supreme Court of Canada Launches Electronic Filing Portal

Beginning Monday, January 30th, 2023, parties will be able to access a new Electronic Filing Portal to upload documents related to their case before the Supreme Court. With the exception of documents that are under a confidentiality order or sealed, the portal will be used for all filings. Users accessing the web-based portal will be required to register using an email address, which will be verified by the Registry Branch. Users will receive an initial confirmation of documents that are submitted, as well as a confirmation from the Registry when the documents are processed.

For more information about the Supreme Court of Canada’s Electronic Filing Portal, visit:

Information about the Electronic Filing Portal is available in French here: