NSRLP Research

SRL Case Law Database Preliminary Report

Click here to access the report. We are thrilled to bring you the first, preliminary, Report on the SRL Case Law Database, which we have been working on for most of the past year. The purpose of the SRL Case Law Database is to track the developing jurisprudence across Canada in cases that affect the positions of individuals appearing unrepresented. We are focusing on four themes: “vexatiousness”, cost awards, procedural fairness and accommodations. As the number of cases in the Database [...]


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 [...]


SRL Intake Report 2015-16

This Report collates and analyzes data from Intake Forms completed by SRLs from April 2015 to December 2016, a total of 73 respondents. The data tracks the core demographics – gender, income, education, age etc – of the SRL population. The results are highly consistent with our previous study results, as well as studies conducted in other countries. Also consistent is the finding that many SRLs begin their case represented by a lawyer, but become self-represented partway through when mounting legal [...]


Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography

This is Version 4 (May 2016) of our Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography. Designed as a resource for students, researchers and SRLs themselves, the NSRLP Access to Justice Annotated Bibliography is now over 50 pages and includes almost 100 summaries in 3 sections (Canada, US and the rest of the world). We are constantly pruning and adding to keep the Bibliography as current and as useful as possible (we welcome all your suggestions for items to include). We are gratified [...]


Canadian Cases on McKenzie Friends

Research by Judith M. DaSilva BRITISH COLUMBIA 1. Hansra v. Hansra, 2015 BCSC 1254 (CanLII) — 2015-08-07  Supreme Court of British Columbia — British Columbia business — debt — valuation — buyout — credit […]   McKenzie friend for the Respondent: […] ALBERTA 1. R. v. J.W.S. 2004 ABQB 407 (CanLII) —2004-03-23 Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench—Edmonton , Alberta [reference spelling error “McKenzie] Criminal law — Offences — Property offences — Possession of breaking instruments — Possession of stolen goods — Procedure — Trial judge’s duties — Where accused [...]


NSRLP’s Summary Judgment Research Report

Described by one media commentator as “groundbreaking”, NSRLP has released its research report on how summary judgments are being used to dismiss cases involving SRLs before they reach trial. While the courts must struggle to weed out cases without merit, the numbers we discovered when we dug deeper into the CanLll database raise a serious access to justice issue. Setting aside cases where litigants are described as “vexatious” or where there are indicia of “vexatiousness”, the number of summary [...]


NSRLP Intake Report 2014-2015

Despite closing the formal SRL National Study in January 2013, we continue to hear every day from SRLs all over Canada (and occasionally from other countries – the NSRLP website had visitors from 91 different countries in 2014). Many of these SRLs are as eager to share the story of their experiences as our original study respondents. After months of exchanging emails with some of these SRLs, we eventually realized that we had a data collection opportunity. Despite closing the [...]


10 Action Steps

Action 1: How We Think About Change Facing the overwhelming case for systems change – recognizing and responding to the large and rising number of individuals who cannot afford legal counsel and are representing themselves in court – requires us to be open to re-thinking and re-working the way that legal and court services are conceived and offered to enhance Access to Justice. Action 2: Listening to SRLs SRLs are a majority in some courts now. They represent a cross section of [...]

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