Celebrating – and Using – the Pintea DecisionNSRLP
This week’s episode of Jumping Off the Ivory Tower, our social justice podcast, features Colin Feasby of Osler Hoskin & Harcourt’s Calgary office. Colin was the appellant’s lead counsel in Pintea v Johns (2017 SCC 23). In Pintea, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that self-represented litigants should not be treated in exactly the same way as a trained lawyer, because of the differences between them in terms of knowledge and power. Colin’s reflections on Pintea and predictions for the future can be heard in “Insiders & Outsiders”, named for his opening pitch to the Supreme Court of Canada in April. “This case is about insiders and outsiders. Everyone in this room is an insider – SRLs are outsiders. This case is about how we treat outsiders.”
In a summary written for the NSRLP website and designed to be used by SRLs in presenting their own cases, law student Kaila Scarrow writes, “The justices were concerned to ensure that the plaintiff was not unfairly penalized as a self-represented litigant and that sufficient effort had been made to ensure he understood and could participate in the court process.”
The Pintea summary is a response to requests from SRLs for a reliable and succinct summary that they could bring to their own hearings. Like all our resources it is free and downloadable. As more and more court decisions cite Pintea, we are tracking these in our SRL Case Law Database – (you can read about the SRL Case Law Database in our summer news report here). In 2018, we will issue a report with initial findings.