The Global Voice of the SRL: IAALS

NSRLP is partnering with IAALS (the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System, based at the University of Denver: see www.iaals.org) to replicate the original Canadian study methodology in three US states. The IAALS study will focus on the experiences of family litigants who are representing themselves. There is great interest among US policymakers, law associations and reform bodies in gathering the in-depth data the National SRL study obtained directly from individuals representing themselves in family and civil [...]

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Reports from the Cromwell Roadshow

Following publication of the National Action Committee Reports, Mr Justice Cromwell spoke at meetings across Canada about his recommendations for change. Sue represented NSRLP in Toronto and Edmonton, and SRL Jennifer Muller was invited to the Vancouver meeting. Sue writes: “One comment made by Mr Justice Cromwell in both venues stood out for me: ‘We need to broaden the conversation and get the public voice involved.’ Comparing the two events, it seemed that the greater the representation of “non-lawyer” social [...]

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On Your Mind: What three changes to the practice of law would make it more responsive to SRLs?

Rob Harvie, QC (Bencher, Alberta Law Society) The anxiety and uncertainty inherent in participating in the legal system impacts everyone. Too often, we polarize ourselves into “us” and “them”. When we feel anxiety, we form groups of common sentiment – and sometimes we deconstruct our “enemies” and minimize the reality of their perspective. For SRLs, the uncertainty of outcomes and the complexity of the system means that they have even higher levels of anxiety and fear. The result is a [...]

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My Story: Derek Perry

  Derek Parry – a country pastor – never expected to find himself representing himself in family court., “As a result of my gullibility and stupidity, I got caught in a marriage scam”.  After his very short marriage ended, Derek wanted an annulment and retained a lawyer.  It seemed to him that the case was relatively simple – after just 5 days of married life, there were no children and no asset disputes.  Derek was willing to assist his former [...]

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