The seventh annual Access to Justice Week will run from October 24 to 28, 2022. This year’s event will feature a series of workshops and presentations on the theme, “Access to Justice Counts: Using Data to Address the Legal Needs of Canadians”. The full schedule is now available. The public is invited to learn more by visiting the event website and register to attend events, which will take place virtually: https://lso.ca/theactiongroup/access-to-justice-week.
The next Access to Justice Week BC is February 7-11. BC’s Access to Justice Week is designed to “offer information and learning opportunities about access to justice in British Columbia.” Legal sector analyst, Jordan Furlong will give this year’s keynote event on February 9 on “Redefining Competencies for the 21st Century Lawyer”. For more information about events taking place at law schools across BC and online for Access to Justice Week BC, visit: http://www.a2jweekbc.ca/ or follow @a2jweekbc on Twitter for updat”es.
Saskatchewan’s second annual Access to Justice Week will run from October 20 – 26, 2018. The week will include discussions and activities that will engage different actors in the access to justice conversation as well as highlight projects and programs that aim to improve access to justice for all Saskatchewan residents. The week-long events will build on themes from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law’s 2017 Dean’s Forum on Access to Justice and Dispute Resolution and will include:
- Legal information, Legal Advice, and Access to Justice; and
- Expanding Engagement: Creating Connections
Learn more about Access to Justice Week in Saskatchewan here: https://law.usask.ca/createjustice/saskatchewan-access-to-justice-week.php. For a list of events scheduled for the 2018 Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week, visit: https://law.usask.ca/createjustice/A2J2018-AtAGlance.pdf.
Monday, October 22, 2018 marks the start of the third annual Access to Justice Week in Ontario, hosted by The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG). The week will include a range of sessions including:
- Mental Health – Access and Ethics
- Indigenous Language Speakers and the Canadian Justice System
- Addressing the Access to Legal Representation Gap in Family Law; and
- Justice, Innovation and Community
Visit the TAG Access to Justice Week webpage for information on the sessions and to register to attend events by webcast or in person: https://theactiongroup.ca/access-to-justice-week/.
British Columbia will be holding its inaugural Access to Justice Week from September 29 to October 5, 2018. The week’s events have been organized and are being led by the province’s three law schools – Allard Law School at the University of British Columbia, Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law, and the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. BC’s A2J Week will include:
- Tech events
This will include a weekend hackathon, as well as a panel on artificial initelligence (AI) innovation and the justice sector.
- Law school events
Events to be held at BC’s three law schools include a presentation on “What would A2J look like for victims of sexual violence?” and a panel on “Lawyering with Heart: Violence informed and solution-focused lawyering for Indigenous youth and families”. The 7th Annual National Pro Bono Conference in Vancouver on October 4 – 5, which will coincide with BC’s A2J Week, will bring together lawyers, paralegals, law students, judges and other stakeholders to discuss ideas and best practices for increasing access to justice.
- Victoria events
Students at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law will be holding an Access to Justice Fair to share information on opportunities to increase A2J. Later in the week, there will also be a presentation by Dr. Julie Macfarlane on the challenges that self-represented litigants face.
- Kamloops events
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) law school students and staff from the TRU Community Legal Clinic will be offering information and intake referrals at the Farmers’ Market on September 29. The Community Legal Clinic will also be offering information (and free coffee) later in the week and Dr. Macfarlane will speak to law students and to members of the legal community on October 3. There will also be a talk on legal tech and access to justice as well as activities to teach attendees about the challenges of self-representation.
For more information on BC’s inaugural Access to Justice Week, visit: www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/enews/enews-18-09-2018.
The Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family (CRILF) has published two new reports.
The first report is the Record of Proceedings of Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward. This report is based on findings from a two-day national symposium, held in Calgary in September 2017, that brought together a multidisciplinary spectrum of leading stakeholders to share information and dialogue about how the voices of children and youth are heard, how their interests are protected and how their evidence is received in justice processes. The record contains the Program Guide, the PowerPoint slides presented at the conference, workshop scribes’ notes and presenters’ summaries of outcome, and a digest of the key themes and recommendations emerging from the workshops.
The Record of Proceedings can be downloaded on the CRILF website here.
The second report is Perceptions of Polyamory in Canada. This is the second of two reports published by the Institute on polyamory and polyamorous relationships. The earlier paper focused on the intersections between polyamorous relationships and family law in Canada’s common law jurisdictions. The new report takes a deeper dive into the data collected in the CRILF survey to look at the demographic characteristics of polyamorists, the composition of their families, their attitudes toward their relationships and their perceptions of how Canadians view polyamory and polyamorous relationships. The purpose of the study was to obtain a better understanding of the prevalence and nature of polyamorous relationships to inform the development of family justice policy and legislation. Recommendations are made with respect to law reform, public and professional education, and future research. This interesting and innovative research on the views and attitudes of Canadian polyamorists is the first of its kind.
Perceptions of Polyamory in Canada can be downloaded on the CRILF website here.
The details in this post were taken from information circulated by CRILF.
ACCESS TO JUSTICE WEEK (October 23 – 27) Ontario
The 2nd annual Access to Justice Week is underway with various events taking place across Ontario. Live streaming and webcast links are available here for some remaining events.
IMMIGRATION LAW: LAW AT THE LIBRARY SERIES (October 28) at 2516 Alta Vista, Ottawa
This event is geared towards new immigrants to Canada and individuals with questions about immigration and visiting Canada. The Immigration Law – Law at the Library Series event will cover information on applying for visas, permanent residency, becoming a Canadian citizen, legal rights and more.
EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: INFORMATION SESSION (October 30) at 130 Queen Street West, Toronto
This information session will discuss the strategies that the Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) will be putting in place to help address discrimination and racism in the legal profession.
CANFest 2017 (November 1) at 130 Queen Street West, Toronto
This event will provide information on the Coach and Advisor Network (CAN) and offer visitors an opportunity to meet participants in the Coach and Advisor Network.
TAKE OUR KIDS TO WORK AT OSGOODE HALL 2017 (November 1) at 130 Queen Street West, Toronto
The goal of this event is to educate students in Grade 9 about the steps to becoming a legal professional.
#140DOWN – NOW WHAT? THE FUTURE OF LAWYERING IS HERE (November 3) at Fort Garry Place Banquet & Conference, Winnipeg
Innovators, analysts and experts in the legal field will be among the presenters and attendees at the 140th Isaac Pitblado Lecture on the theme of Now What? The Future of Lawyering is Here. More information on this event is available online at http://www.pitbladolectures.com. The program agenda is available online here.
THE ONTARIO AI LEGAL CHALLENGE (November 10)
The initiative aims to engage companies in a challenge to create affordable legal services solutions that incorporate artificial intelligence. The deadline for submissions to the challenge is November 10, 2017, with a top prize of $80,000. In addition to the main prize, the 6 companies that make it to the semi-final round will have access to mentors and other services offered through Ryerson University’s Legal Innovation Zone (LIZ).
MAKE A WILL – LAW AT THE LIBRARY SERIES (November 15) at 2516 Alta Vista, Ottawa
This information session will focus on wills and estates law. Attendees will learn about the importance of having a will, what happens in the absence of a will and the importance of powers of attorney.
17TH ANNUAL FRANCHISE LAW CONFERENCE (November 16) at 20 Toronto Street, Toronto
This Ontario Bar Association event will include two special workshops and several roundtables and will explore trends and developments in franchise law.
LEGAL FUTURES INNOVATION CONFERENCE: CHANGING THE GAME (November 21) at 250 Bishopsgate, London
This conference in London will highlight major changes over the past 10 years that have occurred in law firms, the range of legal and non-legal services offered, technology and the Law and other related topics in the legal field.
SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS (SRL) AWARENESS DAY: (October 4th 2017) at Windsor Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, the University of Ottawa Law School, Queens Law School, and Western Law
- SRL Awareness Day aims to increase awareness among law students of the self-represented litigant experience. Windsor Law, Osgoode Hall Law School, the University of Ottawa Law School, Queens Law School, and Western Law will host invited SRL guests in classes and during a midday panel.
For more information about SRL Awareness Day, visit the National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) website here. Join the conversation taking place on social media for Self-Represented Litigants Awareness Day with #SRLawareness and #SRLawarenessday.
LEGAL INNOVATION ZONE: YOUTH ACCESS TO JUSTICE INITIATIVE at Ryerson University
- Session 2A (youth only): October 4 at Ryerson University
This event will focus on access to justice within the community and how to address access to justice issues.
- Session 2B: October 25 at Ryerson University
This event is open to all ages. Discussions will center on community access to justice issues and how those in the community can get help for their issues.
- Session 3: October 30 at Ryerson University
This session will explore where justice system users go for legal help and how existing resources can be made to work better.
- Session 4 (Design Thinking): November 4 at Ryerson University
Using themes explored in earlier sessions, this session will lead participants through the Design Thinking process to create prototypes for youth justice initiatives.
For more information on the Legal Innovation Zone Youth Access to Justice Initiative, visit their website here.
SASKATCHEWAN ACCESS TO JUSTICE WEEK (October 16 to 21) at the University of Saskatchewan, College of Law
- This is the 2nd annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice week. This event seeks to engage individuals and stakeholders in access to justice discussions and to bring to the forefront various initiatives that are contributing to improvements in A2J for Saskatchewan residents.
For more information on Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week, visit their website here. Follow the week’s events and conversations on social media using #SKA2J.
ONTARIO ACCESS TO JUSTICE WEEK (October 23 to 27)
This is Ontario’s second annual Access to Justice Week. This year’s Access to Justice Week will include the following events:
- Access to Justice Innovation (October 23) at the Law Society of Upper Canada
This event will highlight innovative, community driven work taking place in the justice sector. The keynote presentation will be delivered by Justice Thomas A. Cromwell.
- Improving Health, Improving Service (October 23) at the Law Society of Upper Canada
This event will focus on mental health and other health risks that lawyers face.
- The Millennial Influence (October 24) at the University of Ottawa
This event will include discussions on the ways that millenials are influencing thinking on A2J and legal technology.
- Paralegals and Access to Justice (October 25) at the Law Society of Upper Canada
This session will centre on the contributions that paralegals are making to improving A2J.
- Include. Inform. Inspire. (October 26) at the Law Society of Upper Canada
This will be a public legal education and information forum.
For more information on Ontario’s Access to Justice Week, visit The Action Group on Access to Justice website here. Follow the week’s events and conversations on social media using #A2J2017.
2017 IT.CAN 21st ANNUAL CONFERENCE (October 23 to 24) at 150 King Street West, Toronto
- This 2-day conference will offer legal professionals and others an opportunity to network and learn about developments in technology law in Canada and abroad.
For more information about the IT.CAN Conference, visit the program page here.
ABA 2017 NATIONAL AGING AND LAW CONFERENCE (October 26 to 27) Silver Spring, Maryland
- This 2-day conference will include an array of workshops on legal and policy issues, legal service delivery and recent developments related to elder rights, aging and law.
For additional information on the American Bar Association’s (ABA) 2017 National Aging and Law conference visit their website here.
2017 FAMILY DISPUTE RESOLUTION INSTITUTE OF ONTARIO (FDRIO) AND FAMILY MEDIATION CANADA (FMC) CONFERENCE (November 20 to 21) in Toronto, Ontario
The 2-day 2017 FDRIO-FMC Conference will include panels and workshops on a range of topics including:
- How to Fix the Family Court Crisis
- Getting Past Impasse
- Distance Mediation and Technology
- Effective Advocacy in Mediation
- Elder Mediation
- Parenting Coordination Challenges
- Grandparent Access Mediation
- Domestic Violence and Power Imbalance
- Income Determination for Support Purposes
- Ethical Issues in Mediation/Arbitration
For more information or to register for the FDRIO-FMC conference, visit the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario website here. Follow the conversation on social media with #FDRevolution.
SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGATION NETWORK (SRLN) 2018 CONFERENCE (February 22 to 23, 2018), San Francisco, California
- The 2nd annual Self-Represented Litigation Network Conference will bring together a diverse group of players and users in the justice system to explore and create new tools for providing access to justice. Proposals for this conference will be accepted up to September 29.
For more information about Designing & Engaging the 100% Access to Civil Justice Ecosystem, the 2-day SRLN conference, visit their website here.
Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward is a two-day national symposium scheduled for 15 and 16 September 2017 in Calgary.
- the role of children’s counsel;
- the child in family law proceedings, child protection proceedings and youth criminal justice proceedings;
- the practical and legal effect of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child within Canada; and,
- best practices for children’s legal clinics, representing children, judicial child interviews, and child interviews by lawyers and mental health professionals.
The symposium is open to anyone with an interest in children’s participation in justice processes. Participation is welcome from: judges, lawyers and articled students; academics, researchers, graduate students and post-doctoral students; social workers, clinical psychologists, counsellors and other mental health professionals; and, government decision-makers, policy-makers and administrators. For more information, please visit: http://www.findingthebestwaysforward.com/.
The symposium registration portal can be found here: http://www.findingthebestwaysforward.com/registration.htm
Finding the Best Ways Forward is a joint initiative by the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family and the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate Alberta, and has been funded by a grant from the Alberta Law Foundation.
Information about “Finding the Best Ways Forward” was provided by the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family.
This post was updated on March 28, 2017
The Canadian Bar Association’s Access to Justice Committee has developed a new professional development webinar series called, Better Client Service Series: Good for Clients, Good for Lawyers.
Three live 90-minute webinars are currently scheduled to take place as a part of this series. The themes are as follows:
- (March 7, 2017) Lasting Client Relationships: Intake Strategies that Build Long-Term Trust: Using client intake procedures to identify long-term needs and build client capacity;
- (March 29, 2017) Made-to-Measure Legal Services: The Power of Limited Scope Retainers: Understanding the practical application of limited scope retainers and the associated professional responsibilities;
- (April 19, 2017) Intelligent Client Communications: Empowering Your Clients Through Clear Legal Writing: Drafting correspondence that optimizes clients’ understanding of their legal issues and helps them make effective decisions.
These webinars will be led by faculty who are well known in the access to justice arena. More information about the webinar series can be found at the following link: http://www.cbapd.org/details_en.aspx?id=NA_ona2j17. Information about accreditation of the sessions for inclusion in continuing professional development hours is located here: http://www.cbapd.org/accreditation_en.aspx?id=NA_ONA2J17
Non-CBA members who work in Access to Justice are eligible for pricing discounts. Follow the links above for contact information and to learn more about this series.
Green College at The University of British Columbia (UBC) will be hosting an interdisciplinary speakers series on access to justice over the coming year.
The first talk took place on September 28 and featured recently retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice Thomas Cromwell, speaking on “Why Don’t we Have Appropriate Access to Justice?”. Justice Cromwell was joined by Ms. Jennifer Muller (a self-represented litigant from A2JBC) and Mr. Dan Baxter (Director of Policy Development, Government & Stakeholder Relations for the BC Chamber of Commerce).
The talk was livestreamed at Why Don’t we Have Appropriate Access to Justice?, and livetweeted using #justicetalks. Future talks will also be available as podcasts.
October 19 – “Access to Justice and Sexual Violence”, Professor Janine Benedet (Allard Law) and Dr. Tracy Pickett (UBC Medicine/St Paul’s Hospital) (5:00-6:30 pm, Pacific Time)
November 23 – “Access to Justice and Indigenous Laws”, Professor Val Napoleon (UVic Law) and Professor Hadley Friedland (Alberta Law) (5:00-6:30 pm, Pacific Time)
For more information on upcoming 2016 talks, view the Cross-Sectoral Consultation, Access to Justice poster. The last three talks will take place in 2017, with topics and speakers TBA.
Those in Vancouver are invited to attend the speaker series. For those outside of Vancouver, please consider following the talks on Twitter, by livestream, or by podcast.