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SRL Awareness Day, October 4th 2017: More Partners, Same Goal

For the past two years, the NSRLP initiative Bring a SRL to Law School Day laid the foundation for a meaningful and positive coming together of local  SRLs who attended  law school classes that day, and law schools. This year the NSRLP is again coordinating this event, with some new partners, as well as a new name (watch for the #SRLAwarenessDay hashtag on Twitter and Facebook). We are excited to have Windsor, Ottawa, Osgoode, Queen’s, and Western’s law schools [...]

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Windsor Law To Offer For-Credit SRL Coaching Course

This Fall, Windsor Law will offer the first ever for-credit SRL Conflict Coaching class in a North American law school, pairing Windsor Law students with SRLs via a clinic setting. This is a continuation of our work to develop a “coaching” model for SRLs, here focusing on the types of partnerships that can be provided by trained and supervised law students. Acting Dean Myra Tawfik says: “This is the first and only course of its kind that law students can attend [...]

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NSRLP Launching Social Justice Podcast!

Mark your calendars for the release of a brand-new podcast: Jumping Off the Ivory Tower with Prof Julie Mac! Starting September 18th, we will release weekly episodes that tackle topics from across the social justice universe. Naturally, we’ll often feature issues related to SRLs and Access to Justice, but in the first dozen episodes we’re also taking on topics such as sexual violence, racism and Islamophobia, disability rights, and legal education, to name a few. Hosted by NSRLP Director Julie [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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