December 2014

Dear Santa

Dear Santa, We know how busy you are, so we thought that one letter from the diverse collective of friends and supporters of the NSRLP would save you some time this season, since ultimately we all wish for the same outcome – better access to justice in Canada. Here is our Wish List. My wish for Access for Justice in Canada this holiday season is that every lawyer in Canada commit to assisting at least one SRL over the holiday season with unbundled [...]


Access To Justice All-Star: Katrina Trask

Our newest Access to Justice All-Star is nominated by Chief Justice Derek Green of the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court. Katrina is a Research Lawyer with the Court, where she provides research support to the judges of the Court of Appeal. Katrina attended a workshop for members of the Newfoundland judiciary conducted by NSRLP in June 2014, and at the end of the day introduced herself to Julie. “If you have research that I can help with, I am [...]


Update From the US SRL Study: Jennifer Muller Appears in Promotional Video for “Cases Without Counsel”

Work continues by IAALS at the University of Denver on the duplication of the Canadian methodology in five US states where SRLs will be interviewed about their experiences – motivations, expectations, consequences and impact – using the NSRLP template. In order to reach out and encourage SRLs to participate in the US study, NSRLP Board member and former SRL Jennifer Muller has filmed a short video for “Cases Without Counsel”, which is now posted on the IAALS website. In it, [...]


“Rebuilding Public Trust” Graphic by Margaret Hagan

We have been delighted to work with Margaret Hagan, a graduate of Stanford Law School and increasingly recognized graphic artist, on an illustration for our December theme of “Rebuilding Public Trust in the Justice System” (Action Step #10). Combining law and design, Margaret’s vision is informed by her work on international human rights (she has a doctorate in international human rights from the University of Belfast). She is fascinated by the potential of design and visual images to enable disenfranchised [...]


Innovative Alberta QB Amicus Program for SRLs Now Expanding

The Alberta “QB Amicus” program is an excellent example of the collaboration and innovation that is emerging as a result of increased attention being paid to access to justice issues for self-represented litigants. This initiative – a collaboration among Pro Bono Law Alberta (PBLA), Pro Bono Students Canada, private law firms, Student Legal Assistance, the Children’s Legal and Educational Resource Centre and the Court of Queen’s Bench,- began as a Calgary-based pilot in October 2013. From January 2014, the program [...]


Collecting Critical SRL Data Via Our New Intake Form

Despite ending data collection for the original SRL Study in December 2012, we have not stopped hearing from SRLs on a daily basis at the NSRLP. Within a few months of the end of the formal study, we created a self-complete “Intake Form” which asked for basic information – for example court, education, income, experience with counsel, access to pro bono legal services/ duty counsel, use of Internet resources – from all SRLs who wanted to be a part [...]


Working with SRLs: Ideas and Suggestions from the Bench

A small Working Group of judges, representing jurisdictions across Canada, and who hear SRLs on a regular basis in their courtrooms have been working together for three months to produce “Working with SRLs: Ideas and Suggestions from the Bench”. We are formally launching this unique document today. NSRLP convened the Working Group in September, when the month’s focus was “Judges and SRLs”. The final product is a collaborative effort by the group’s members, facilitated by Julie Macfarlane. All judges have concerns [...]

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