An Evaluation of the Clicklaw Wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law: Final Report by Dr Lorne Bertrand and Ms Joanne Putsch assesses the outputs and outcomes of the wikibook, JP Boyd on Family Law by analyzing usage data from Google Analytics and the data collected from a pop-up survey of wikibook users, a follow-up survey administered one week later and a follow-up survey administered six months later, to gauge the efficacy of the wikibook as a collaborative public legal education model.
Wikibooks are websites built on the MediaWiki platform, an open-source application that powers websites such as Wikipedia and Scholarpedia. Wikibooks are agile, highly adaptable websites typically used to present large amounts of information from multiple authors in a digestible, easily accessible and easily editable manner. The wikibook, JP Boyd on Family Law contains more than 120 webpages of substantive legal information, roughly 500 definitions of common legal words and phrases, links to hundreds of key government and non-government resources, and more than 100 downloadable forms for the British Columbia Supreme and Provincial Courts. In print format, the wikibook exceeds 650 pages.
The findings show that the wikibook is being accessed by both legal professionals and members of the public and that users believe the wikibook to be a reliable source of legal information, more helpful than other resources, easy to navigate, easy to understand and very informative. The findings also show that the wikibook has significant long-term effects, with respondents to the six-month survey stating that:
- They know more about the law now than before accessing the wikibook
- The information in the wikibook has improved their understanding of family law issues and the law in general and,
- The wikibook has improved their understanding of the ways that family law issues are resolved.
The US-based Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) website now includes a Canadian Access to Justice Research page.
In the SRLN brief that discusses this recent website addition, there are links to several recent Canadian access to justice research papers, resources and other publications.
Read the SRLN brief in full here.
Dr. Margaret Jackson, Director of the FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, and The Honourable Donna J. Martinson, Q.C., LL.M., have released an access to justice report entitled: Risk of Future Harm: Family Violence and Information Sharing Between Family and Criminal Courts.
This report is grounded in their exploratory, qualitative study that deals with both family law and criminal law cases in which intimate partner violence (family violence) is an issue. The research focused primarily on violence against women and children.
Read the final report by The Honourable Donna Martinson, Q.C. and Dr. Margaret Jackson here: http://www.fredacentre.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Observatory-Martinson-Jackson-Risk-Report-FINAL-January-14-2016.pdf
Dr. Jackson and The Honourable Donna Martinson presented their research at B.C.’s Fifth Justice Summit (held in November 2015). The Report on the Fifth Summit will be released soon. The report on the Fourth Summit, entitled Better Responses to Violence against Women, is available here: http://www.justicebc.ca/shared/pdfs/FourthSummitReport.pdf
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
The Equity Office of the Nova Scotia Barrister Society has just published a report discussing its recent #TalkJustice project. As part of the Office’s mandate to explore access to justice issues in Nova Scotia, #TalkJustice involved reaching out to equity-seeking and economically disadvantaged groups throughout the province to hear what they had to say about justice. This final report identifies the key themes that emerged from the project, and explains the methods, goals and inspiration behind the initiative.
The project website offers an overview of the conversation and is also worth a visit.