The Honourable Thomas Cromwell’s The Lawyer’s Daily columns explore topical issues related to access to civil and family justice in Canada. His latest column features an interview with Professor Katie Sykes of Thompson Rivers University’s Faculty of Law about a course that Professor Sykes created and teaches on “Designing Legal Expert Systems”. This course, like several others being offered at law schools across Canada, are fostering innovation among law students and engaging them to identify creative solutions to justice system challenges. “Access to Justice: Katie Sykes on Designing Legal Expert Systems” is published on The Lawyer’s Daily website here and can also be accessed online here.
The most recent volume of the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice includes a collection of scholarly articles on the theme of: “Innovation and Access to Justice: Addressing the Challenge of a Diverse Justice Ecosystem”. This special issue was edited by the Winkler Institute for Dispute Resolution’s academic co-directors, Nicole Aylwin and Martha Simmons and is available for free online here: https://ojs.uwindsor.ca/ojs/leddy/index.php/WYAJ/index.
As part of the Cost of Justice project, The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice recently published a Selected Annotated Bibliography of some of the major national and regional legal needs surveys from 1990 to present.
This bibliography is a great resource for anyone hoping to expand their understanding of legal needs and everyday justiciable problems. To view the Selected Annotated Bibliography, visit: http://bit.ly/CFCJ-CoJBibliography
A Toronto-based lawyers group has launched the “Self-Rep Navigators” to direct legal services towards self-represented litigants. Described as “a hub for connecting self-represented litigants to supportive lawyers and high quality resources both online and offline”, Self-Rep Navigators have established a website at www.limitedscoperetainers.ca and list lawyers who will take clients on a limited scope retainer/ at fixed fees for civil and criminal matters, and those offering the same types of services to family clients.
You can find the full write up about Self-Rep Navigators here.
On March 13, 2015 the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters (the Action Committee) convened a meeting for existing provincial and territorial access to justice groups (P/T A2J groups), many of which were formed in response to recommendation 5.1 of the Action Committee’s Roadmap Report.
While much of the literature surrounding innovation emphasizes the importance of creativity and spontaneity, this article from McKinsey Quarterly reminds innovators that discipline and constraint have an important role to play in the process as well. The article suggests that “simple rules” can guide and structure innovation without hampering its generative qualities.