All NSRLP Publications are developed in response to needs and challenges which we have heard talked about by both SRLs and other justice system stakeholders. We hope to continue to develop these resources and if you have an idea for a particular publication, please let us know.

All NSRLP Publications are open source access, which means that they can be downloaded and used without cost or permission. As well, many of these resources are designed to be sufficiently generic to used in different jurisdictions and courts – and you may alter or modify as you wish to fit a particular context or setting. We would appreciate it if you would keep the credit to the NSRLP on the document when you use it so that people can continue to learn of our work.

If you would like to alter or modify from a format other than the posted pdf, please contact us and we can share an alternate copy with you.

Guide for Self-Represented Litigants with Disabilities

Click here to access the PWD Primer We hear all too often from self-represented litigants who are also persons with disabilities (PWDs) – these litigants are forced to deal with the “double-whammy” of navigating the justice system alone, while simultaneously facing the physical and systemic barriers that PWDs deal with on a daily basis. This primer, “Navigating the Justice System: A Guide for Self-Represented Litigants with Disabilities” is designed for people seeking justice system accommodations for a recognized disability, either physical [...]


Reading and Understanding Case Reports

Reading A Case Primer A Guide for Self-Represented Litigants By Margarita Dvorkina & Julie Macfarlane Why We Publish SRL Primers One of the NSRLP’s primary missions is the development of accessible, practical and empowering resources for the primarily self-represented. NSRLP has been researching and writing its distinctive SRL “Primers” – Reading and Understanding Case Reports is our 9th Primer – since 2013 (you can find the full list here). We do this not because we believe that people are generally “better off” without lawyers, burning [...]


Provincial Resources for SRLs

Click here to view our regularly updated Provincial Resources for SRLs. If you have a suggestion for an additional physical or online resource we could include, please send it along to


“My Learned Friend”: Building Constructive Working Relationships Between Self-Represented Litigants and Opposing Counsel

Working with Opposing Counsel We know from our research that many SRLs will find that the other side in the dispute is represented by a lawyer, for some or all of the time. When this is the case, it is critically important for the SRL and opposing counsel to create a constructive working relationship. A functional professional relationship between the SRL and opposing counsel is critical to the progress and the resolution of the case. But for a variety of reasons, [...]


The McKenzie Friend: Choosing and Presenting a Courtroom Companion

A Courtroom Companion NSRLP is proud to present its latest SRL guide, The McKenzie Friend: Choosing and Presenting a Courtroom Companion written by Judith DaSilva and Julie Macfarlane. A “McKenzie Friend” (MF) is a support person who sits with a SRL at the front of the courtroom. A MF cannot address the court, but they can organize and hand the SRL their documents as needed, take notes for review after the hearing, and above all help a SRL to stay calm and centred . MFs are used widely in courts in [...]


Mindfulness Training and Stress-Reduction for SRLs

Mindfulness Training We are pleased and proud to announce another new NSRLP resource written and developed specifically for SRLs. “What Can Mindfulness Training Do for You? A Resource for Self-Represented Litigants” has been designed and written – along with an accompanying video – by Mindfulness Trainer Charlotte Thaarup-Owen. Julie and Charlotte met last September at a workshop in Melbourne. Julie was there to speak about self-represented litigants. In the course of their conversation about the debilitating impact stress can have on [...]


The CanLII Primer

The Can Lii Primer (Eng) The Can Lii Primer (Fre) The NSRLP is proud to launch our latest resource for SRLs NSRLP CanLII Primer V1 English NSRLP CanLII Primer V1 French The CanLll Primer: Legal Research Principles and CanLII Navigation for Self-Represented Litigants is the result of innumerable hours of research and drafting by NSRLP Research Assistant Tamara Thomas, who worked with Julie to develop the Primer. Tamara says this about what she learned from the experience, and what motivated her to spend so much time [...]


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 [...]


Settlement Smarts for SRLs

Settlement Smarts Julie Macfarlane with the help of research assistants Hannah Bahmanpour and Katrina Trask has created a “how to” primer to enable SRLs to make effective, strategic and empowered use of settlement processes – settlement conferences with a judge, mediation, and negotiations and Offers to Settle.  This 20 page outline takes you through purpose and structure, how to prepare, consequences (what to do if you get an agreement and what if you do not), and is packed with practical [...]


Coping with the Courtroom

Coping with the Courtroom Announcing “Coping with the Courtoom: Essential Information and Tips for SRLs” , written by Hannah Bahmanpour and Julie Macfarlane for the NSRLP. This primer for preparing yourself, emotionally and technically, for court is packed with the information and practical self-help tips that

Font Resize
Background Color