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Association of Canadian Court Administrators (ACCA) 2011 White Paper

Trevor Farrow and Diana Lowe of the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice along with Bradley Albrecht, Heather Manweiller and Martha E. Simmons are the authors of ACCA's 2011 White Paper Addressing the Needs of Self-Represented Litigants in the Canadian Justice System. This paper takes an in-depth look at the specific challenges faced by self-represented litigants (SRLs). Recommendations presented in this paper stress the need for a multi-option approach to legal assistance that effectively matches available services with the primary needs of SRLs.

Rural and Remote Access to Justice Logo

Rural & Remote Access to Justice Project 

For the almost twenty percent of Canadians living in rural and remote communities, access to legal services and legal information presents significant challenges.

In 2015, through a partnership with the Rural and Remote Access to Justice Boldness Project, the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice produced Rural and Remote Access to Justice, A Literature Review. In this Review, lead authors, Nicole Aylwin and Lisa Moore, explore the meaning of the terms “rural” and “remote” and look at access to justice challenges in both settings. The Review also examines what existing research tells us about the differences between rural and urban communities and, how others around the world have faced these issues.

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice also worked with the Rural and Remote Access to Justice Boldness Project to produce “Just in Time” research on smartphone applications that could form the bases to develop a rural access to justice application, as well as “Just in Time” research on tools and platforms that could be used to conduct intake assessment and document storage in a clinic context. Both research documents are available here.

In May, 2016, the Rural and Remote Access to Justice Boldness Project published an infographic on rural and remote access to justice, that was also produced by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice. The infographic is posted here.

CLEO logo

Evolving Legal Services in Canada and Access to Justice 

Canadian Forum on Civil Justice Executive Director Les Jacobs is a member of the Research Advisory Group for Evolving Legal Services in Canada and Access to Justice, a project being led by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO).

Public Legal Education and Information (PLEI) has become a critical component in the continuum of legal services delivered across the justice system. With governments (and funders) facing fiscal challenges to funding of programs and services, there is an increased reliance on PLEI, including online legal information, ‘self help programs’, and other limited assistance services, as a less costly way to help low and middle income Canadians address their legal issues and thereby access justice.  To ensure that resources are spent wisely, it is important to know when these PLEI programs are effective and provide meaningful access to justice to individuals.  This is the key question of the Evolving Legal Services research project.

The Canadian Centre for Court Technology – Centre canadien de technologie judiciaire (CCCT-CCTJ)

The Canadian Centre for Court Technology – Centre canadien de technologie judiciaire (CCCT-CCTJ) was launched in 2005 and incorporated in 2007 as a federal not-for-profit organization whose mission was to promote the modernization of court services through the use of technology solutions. In 2017, the Board of Directors and the Members of the Corporation passed a resolution authorizing the dissolution of the corporation on certain terms including that CCCT-CCTJ’s remaining funds be donated to one or more registered Canadian charities as the Officers authorized by the Board saw fit. After receiving expressions of interest, the Authorized Officers decided that York University’s Canadian Forum on Civil Justice – Forum canadien sur la justice civile (CFCJ-FCJC) should receive the funds. A cheque was provided to the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice – Forum canadien sur la justice civile with the possibility that a further modest amount may become available after all liabilities are met.

The theme of modernization, which runs through most if not all of the CFCJ-FCJC’s work, is a goal that the CFCJ-FCJC shares with the CCCT. The CCCT-CCTJ is confident that the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice will use the funds to recognize the CCCT-CCTJ’s historical mandate in the context of the compatible mandate of the CFCJ-FCJC. In the near future, the remaining digital reports and records generated by the CCCT-CCTJ will be hosted online through the CFCJ-FCJC.’s Access to Justice Research Network – Réseau de recherche sur l’accès à la justice (AJRN-RRAJ).

The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice – Forum canadien sur la justice civile has conveyed their immense gratitude to the Canadian Centre for Court Technology – Centre canadien de technologie judiciaire for its donation. The CFCJ-FCJC was both delighted and honoured to receive this important gift, which they have indicated will be used to assist in research and projects to modernize our justice system and to improve access to justice in Canada. To view the official announcement, click here.