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NSRLP Summer Team

We’re very pleased to announce that our NSRLP team has grown, and this summer we have three wonderful new Research Assistants working alongside two veteran RAs on our burgeoning Case Law Database (CLD). The CLD project will track highly anticipated and sorely needed data about Canadian case law particularly relevant to the experience and treatment of SRLs across the country. The CLD team is tracking issues of: procedural fairness, judicial assistance, claims of vexatiousness, costs, and accommodation. The RAs [...]


SRL Awareness Day – and the Access to Justice Certificate Program

We are delighted to announce that it appears at least four Ontario law schools – Windsor, Ottawa, Osgoode and Queen’s – will participate October 4th in Self-Represented Litigants Awareness Day. This NSRLP event, formerly known as Bring a SRL to Law School Day, has changed names to better “brand” the SRL phenomenon within social media. We are hoping to bring the remaining Ontario schools on board as hosts within the next few months to make it a clean sweep! The [...]


Watch out for the Fifth and Latest Version of the NSRLP’s Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography!

The NSRLP has released Version 5 of our Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography. The Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography is designed as a resource for students, researchers, and self-represented litigants themselves. Version 5 of the Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography includes over 100 summaries on access-to-justice material in the Canadian, American, and International context. Our latest updated Version 5 contains a specific section dedicated to unbundling and legal coaching, reflecting the increasing attention being given to these areas (and the [...]


Paralegal Petition: Making Your Voice Heard

You may be aware that the NSRLP has established an online petition to try to include more public voices, including SRLs and friends of SRLs, in the important debate over the expansion of paralegal practice in Ontario. We are also encouraging lawyers and paralegals who support the principle of trained and licensed paralegals handling some types of family cases to sign and comment. NSRLP referenced the petition, and some of the hundreds of comments that have been posted, in our [...]


Ontario Court of Appeal applies Pintea v. Johns

We are delighted to bring to your attention a recent decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in Moore v.  Apollo Health & Beauty Care (2017 ONCA 383) by Justice Brown of the Ontario Court of Appeal that that applies the landmark decision in Pintea v. Johns (2017 SCC 23). The Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision in Pintea endorsed the Canadian Judicial Council’s Statement (henceforth “Statement”) for dealing with self-represented litigants (SRLs), and implicitly acknowledged the procedural challenges [...]


NSRLP Responds to Bonkalo Review of Family Legal Services

The NSRLP has written two separate submissions to the Ministry of the Attorney General and the Law Society of Upper Canada in response to Justice Annemarie Bonkalo’s Review of Family Legal Services in Ontario. While we fully support all of Justice Bonkalo’s recommendations, our submissions address two specific recommendations, both of which have received a great deal of attention from the legal community: 1. The licensing of paralegals – This submission, drafted by NSRLP Director Julie Macfarlane and other members [...]


The National Action Committee’s A2J Innovation Roundtable—This Time with Self-Represented Litigants

For the first time, National Action Committee members – leaders in the legal profession, members of the Bench, justice system policymakers and those providing A2J services – had the opportunity to work directly with SRLs at a Vancouver meeting of the Committee on March 22. Julie, along with David Merner, Executive Director of the BC Dispute Resolution Office, worked to arrange for the participation of ten SRLs as guests of the NAC. They were warmly welcomed. Working groups (each of which [...]


NSRLP Heads to Supreme Court of Canada!

This coming Tuesday, April 18th, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case of Pintea v Johns (2016 ABCA 99). This case centres on a finding of civil contempt against an elderly disabled man, who was representing himself because he could not afford counsel. Because of a change of address, Mr Pintea did not receive two notices from the court requiring him to appear at a case conference. When he did appear he was found in contempt and penalized [...]



The Bonkalo Review of Family Legal Services in Ontario Justice Annemarie Bonkalo was appointed in February 2016 by the Ministry of the Attorney-General (or MAG, the legal department of the Ontario government) and the Law Society of Upper Canada (or LSUC, which oversees the legal profession in Ontario) to lead a review of who can offer family legal services in Ontario. At that time, only lawyers could offer family legal services. Paralegals, who offer some types of legal assistance, were [...]


Judges Assisting SRLs

This month the NSRLP would like to highlight a recent decision by the Honourable Madam Justice Kristjanson of the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario. The case – Sae-Bin Im v. BMO Investorline Inc.– explores the extent to which judges must assist self-represented litigants. In the case, Mr. Im brought a motion seeking leave to discontinue the action, with the intention of then bringing a new application for the same cause of action against the same parties. Justice Kristjanson, in [...]

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