Author - NSRLP

An End-of-Year Blog: The State of A2J in Canada

2017 has seen some important steps towards improving A2J in Canada. Steps which we now need to build on, in order to really begin to affect peoples’ experiences in the justice system – but important steps nonetheless, that I want to celebrate in my last blog of the year. In March, ten local SRLs – along with the SRL whose case was the subject of our discussion – joined members of the National Action Committee on A2J in Vancouver. After years [...]

Read more...

Are We There Yet? Tom Cromwell on Access to Justice

Tom Cromwell, NAC Chair & former SCC Justice In our last episode of the season, Julie talks to former Supreme Court Justice Tom Cromwell, who is now in private practice with Borden Ladner Gervais, but remains Chair of the National Action Committee on Access to Justice. Mr. Cromwell rounds out 2017 with some reflections on the state of access to justice in Canada – where have we been, where are we going, and how long will it take to get [...]

Read more...

NSRLP Winter Closure

Here at the NSRLP we’ve been so busy this fall with new SRL resources, podcasts, blogs, and events like SRL Awareness Day, that we’ve realized we need to take a little breather to get caught up on lots of other important operational and administrative work. So, we’ll be closed from December 21st through January 31st – to first enjoy our holidays, and then to spend some time in the new year preparing for a busy and productive 2018. During [...]

Read more...

SRL wins case on judicial bias

We often hear from self-represented litigants that they are concerned about impartiality and even conflicts of interest in their appearances before a particular judge. Unfortunately, this is symptomatic of a growing crisis of confidence in the justice system among some members of the public. A recent Alberta Court of Appeal decision (Carbone v. McMahon, 2017 ABCA 384) addresses this directly. SRL Angela Carbone had asked that the managing judge in her Alberta Queen’s Bench civil action be replaced, because she [...]

Read more...

Introducing the SRL Case Law Database!

We are thrilled to bring you the first, preliminary, Report on the SRL Case Law Database, which we have been working on for most of the past year. The purpose of the SRL Case Law Database is to track the developing jurisprudence across Canada in cases that affect the positions of individuals appearing unrepresented. We are focusing on four themes: “vexatiousness”, cost awards, procedural fairness and accommodations. As the number of cases in the Database grows, we are expecting to [...]

Read more...

Judges and SRLs: Broken Faith

Allison Bowen, former SRL This week’s podcast features the case of Allison Bowen, a self-represented litigant in family court, who was imprisoned for contempt on the request of her ex as a custody and child support conflict escalated between them. She had earlier asked the Canadian Judicial Council to replace Justice Brown with another family court judge, because she did not trust him to treat her without bias, and to judge the case based on the evidence, not whether he [...]

Read more...

Judges and SRLs: Opening A Dialogue

Justice David Price This week’s episode, a conversation with Ontario Superior Court Justice David Price, is a little different from our usual fare. The aim of this episode is to present some important and practical information about how to successfully navigate the legal process as a self-represented litigant in family court. Justice Price addresses how and why to craft a just and durable settlement in a family dispute, and provides a host of practical tips for family SRLs. We’d also [...]

Read more...

“We have to start, and this is our beginning”

“We have to start, and this is our beginning” With these words, Howard Goldblatt, the Chair of the Ontario Law Society’s A2J Committee, ushered in a new era of regulatory reform in Ontario that finally recognizes the need for change. The first step is expanding paralegal services to include some family matters, a proposal vocally opposed by many in the Family Bar. A long awaited decision on Bonkalo Last February, the Bonkalo Review of Family Legal Services recommended expansion of paralegal services to [...]

Read more...

Taking On the Church

David Greenwood, lawyer This week Julie talks to UK lawyer David Greenwood about his work with victims of abuse by members of the clergy, including the church’s response when victims come forward. In other news: new caselaw around SRLs and issues of judging, Julie on CBC Radio, and tracking SRL caselaw. In Other News: Carbone v McMahon case around judicial bias Julie on CBC Radio’s Ontario Today Jeanne Chard (Harvard Law) on research on case outcomes for SRLs

Read more...

Access to Justice for the Victims of Sexual Violence

The disclosures of the last five weeks have been extraordinary. Not because it comes as any surprise to me (or to most other women) that there are powerful men who think they can impose themselves on women, often multiple women – physically, sexually, verbally – and who believe they will never be checked for their bad behavior.  This is part of almost all women’s lives. But now, suddenly, there is a feeling that people are listening. Not just listening to ridicule [...]

Read more...
Font Resize
Background Color