Children’s Participation in Justice Processes: Finding the Best Ways Forward

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.

Finding the Best Ways Forward aims to bring together a broad, multidisciplinary group of stakeholders to share information and to converse about how children’s voices are heard, how their interests are protected and how their evidence is received in justice processes. The symposium is intended to generate innovative proposals for policy reform, best practices, and recommendations for future research about children’s participation in justice processes. Subjects to be discussed at the symposium will include:
  • 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’s call for papers closed on 7 April 2017.  Registration is open for this important symposium, and a block of rooms has been set aside at the downtown Hyatt.
Additional information about the symposium, and the pre-symposium conference on family law in Canada, can be found here: http://www.findingthebestwaysforward.com/about_the_symposium.htm

The symposium registration portal can be found here: http://www.findingthebestwaysforward.com/registration.htm

Early bird pricing is available until 3 June 2017.

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

Professional Development series on Access to Justice

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.

 

Interdisciplinary Speaker Series on Access to Justice

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.

Here are some details about future talks:

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.

CALL FOR PROPOSALS: Connect, Create, Communicate – Public Legal Education and the Access to Justice Movement

On October 21 and 22, LawConnect Ontario (a collaboration of CLEO and OJEN) and The Action Group on Access to Justice (TAG) will be hosting a conference on public legal education and information (PLEI) and access to justice. The conference, “Connect, Create, Communicate 2016”, welcomes participation from members of the legal profession, community workers, students, and others working in access to justice and PLEI.

TAG and LawConnect Ontario invite proposals for workshop sessions that will engage the public on issues pertaining to PLEI and Access to Justice.

Proposals can be submitted using the web form available at http://bit.ly/1Pa0PgX. All proposals must be received by 6pm on Monday June 27, 2016.

For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/TAGLCnnct-Proposals
Questions and comments can be directed to: http://info@lawconnectontario.ca.

 

Access to Justice: Personal Reflections

The Honourable Warren K. Winkler, O.Ont., Q.C., B.A., LL.B, LL.M., LL.D. (Hon.), the former Chief Justice of Ontario, is recognized as one of Canada’s leading mediators. He recently gave a speech at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law on several key A2J issues. The speech was entitled, “”Access to Justice: Personal Reflections” and can be viewed online here: http://bit.ly/SilasHalyk-WWinkler and is available in pdf format here: http://bit.ly/A2J-PersonalReflections-WWinkler

Justice, not Just Access: Effective Outcomes for Children Children’s Legal Rights – the Fundamentals

In May 2015, The Honourable Donna Martinson, Q.C., presented a paper entitled “Justice, not Just Access: Effective Outcomes for Children Children’s Legal Rights – the Fundamentals” at the Access to Justice for Children Conference – CLEBC in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The paper begins with an introduction on justice for children and moves on to an overview of how the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child applies in Canada. This overview includes both a description of how Canada has implemented this convention and how this related to the Charter.

The paper further goes on to discuss the Committee on the Rights of the Child, its role, the four general principles of the Convention and an evaluation of State compliance. It also analyses when children’s rights must be considered and what Canada’s obligations are under the Convention.

In the final section of the paper, “A Roadmap for Change for Children – Access to Justice Phase 2”, Honourable Donna Martinson “respectfully suggest(s) that now is the time to integrate into our national access to justice discussions a specific roadmap which recognizes the special considerations that apply in order to achieve justice for children…”

A subscription to the webinar archive can be accessed at http://www.cle.bc.ca/onlinestore/productdetails.aspx?cid=1134

Innovation and Access to Justice Conference

Please see below, a reminder from Sherry MacLennan, Director, Public Legal Information & Applications, Legal Services Society

This is a reminder that the Innovation and Access to Justice Conference is just a few weeks away – October 1 and 2. A few spots remain available and we are hoping to sell out. It is attracting a broad swath of interest from innovators across the legal community, ranging from government, law societies, legal aid, the private bar, PLEI providers and academics from across Canada.

This conference is in Montreal for the low registration fee of $175 to ensure the conference’s accessibility. However, this will increase to $200 on September 28. The final date to register is September 29. It will not be possible to register in person at the conference.

You may view the agenda and register at: http://iaj2015.openum.ca/registration/