NSRLP Talks In SaskatchewanNSRLP
Sue Rice, NSRLP Project Manager & Research Coordinator, was recently in Regina, Saskatchewan addressing the Ministry of Justice – Justice Innovation Division, and presenting the opening plenary for SATA (Saskatchewan Administrative Tribunals Association) the provincial organization of administrative tribunal members and others involved in administrative justice.
True to its name, the Justice Innovation Division team, lead by Glen Gardner, Assistant Deputy Minister, followed Sue’s presentation on “The SRL Phenomenon: Consequences for Justice Services and Justice Seekers” with a lively discussion on how the justice system in Saskatchewan could be more innovative in responding to justice system participants, many of whom are self-represented litigants. Highlights of the discussion included actively engaging justice system participants in the process of innovation, early intervention, and everyday justice with timeliness and ease of access.
The members of SATA were the third Canadian group to date to play the NSRLP’s Interactive SRL Game. Sue facilitated the Game as part of her opening plenary “Working with Self-Represented Litigants: Moving Beyond Stereotypes to Practical Strategies”.
The SRL Game is an interactive learning tool developed by the NSRLP to demonstrate the frustrations, challenges, and stress of a self-representation journey filled with many unexpected and trying circumstances. One (blindfolded) audience member “plays” the SRL and is subjected to multiple typical SRL experiences in their search for justice, read from game cards by audience members.
As with past groups, SATA not only had some fun with the SRL Game, but also found that it helped develop empathy and greater awareness of self-representation challenges. As usual, the Game provided many solid examples on which to base practical strategies for adjudicators working with SRLs to bring back to their teams.
Karen Smith, Board Member Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board and President of SATA said: “SATA began 4 years ago with a vision to provide affordable, local opportunities to facilitate the sharing of professional information, experience and expertise related to administrative justice. At this year’s Conference we shared the resources of SATA with the Ministry of Justice in order to examine the results of the NSRLP’s National SRL Study. This session in particular did more than just examine those results, it provided the attendees with an opportunity to be actively engaged in understanding the emotions that self-represented parties may experience. The evaluation forms bear out the positive experience of the session and the attendees commitment to put it into practice. Thanks to Sue Rice, our presenter, and the entire crew of the NSRLP for the work they do and for bringing their message to Saskatchewan.”