On May 13, 2016 the University of Victoria Access to Justice Centre for Excellence (UVic ACE) hosted a research colloquium attended by 23 participants from a spectrum of British Columbia justice organizations and agencies. The objective of the colloquium was to bring together various justice stakeholders to discuss the possibility of developing a BC justice framework. Discussion at the colloquium was centred around 3 topics:
A. The nature, status and consequences of the research problem: In defining the problem, colloquium participants agreed that there must be a more coordinated effort in gathering empirical data.
B. Laying the groundwork for the creation of the framework: The consensus among colloquium participants was that over-arching strategic justice system objectives must be set out to achieve the framework.
C. Concrete steps for the design and implementation of the framework: The scope of the research framework was discussed at length, with colloquium participants ultimately agreeing that the project should not involve other provinces due to limited resources and problems of cross-provincial coordination.
As part of the day’s discussion, Uvic ACE proposed a number of ways that it could help advance the justice research framework project after the colloquium. Subject to securing the necessary funding, UVic ACE agreed to contribute in the following 5 ways:
- Establishing a provincial, multi-sector Research Framework Working Group (“RFWG”) to pursue the design and implementation of a justice research framework
- Working with RFWG in the undertaking of research, providing outreach and information, and convening further colloquia
- Preparing a report recommending objectives and guiding principles to inform BC justice research and the work of the RFWG
- Preparing a literature review on justice research frameworks, a paper analyzing options for data scan, and an inventory of existing Canadian A2J research
- Encouraging interest among UVic faculty and students in support of access-oriented justice research projects
To view the full Colloquium Report containing a more fulsome discussion of the research framework and UVic’s proposals for contributing to the ongoing project click here.