By Sarah McCoubrey, Action Committee Liaison
Saskatchewan’s A2J Week is a great chance to check our progress on Canada’s Justice Development Goals. The nine goals arose out of the Roadmap for Change published by the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters in 2014. The goals identify nine areas where the justice sector needs to focus its efforts to reform justice processes, learn and share and work differently to make the justice system work better for people in Canada. The JDGs let everyone working on A2J, and the public, keep track of our efforts and our progress. The Justice Development Goals are broad, ambitious goals that can serve to link the efforts of big institutions, small non-profits, collaboratives and individuals who are all pulling toward the same vision of an effective, responsive justice system.
1 – Address Every Day Legal Problems
2 – Meet Legal Needs
3 – Make Courts Work Better
4 – Improve Family Justice
5 – Work Together
6 – Build Capability
7 – Innovate
8 – Analyze and Learn
9 – Improve Funding Strategies
In Saskatchewan, The A2J Working Group has acted on JDG Goal 5 (Work Together) by creating a collaborative approach within the province. This provincial entity has initiated cross sector discussions and fostered provincial coordination on A2J. The establishment of CREATE Justice responds to JDG Goal 8 (Analyze and Learn) by creating a centre for research excellence to advance understanding of the A2J crisis. By its leadership also nurtures connections and creates momentum on other projects, exposing students to the issues that Canadians face when dealing with civil conflicts. The invitation to researchers in other disciplines will expand the scope of knowledge on A2J issues.
The activities planned during A2J Week in Saskatchewan also advance Justice Development Goals. Each of the planned activities brings people together to improve service, build understanding and share resources. The week as a whole raises the critical importance of A2J issues.
|Oct 16 / 17 Town Hall on the Future of Legal Services Provision in Saskatchewan||Goals 1 and 2|
|Oct 16 “Spin for Access to Justice” Fundraiser||Goal 9|
|Oct 17 – A Spotlight on Access to Justice Champions: A Volunteer Appreciation Event||Goals 5 and 6|
|Oct 18 – Justice and Health Services Session||Goal 7|
|Oct 19 – Free Legal Resource Fair||Goals 1 and 2|
|Oct 19 – McKercher Lecture Series: How can your library help you access legal information?||Goal 1|
|Oct 19 – Walk-in Family Law Information Clinic||Goals 1 and 4|
|Oct 20 – Law Student Small Urban and Rural Law Firm Trip||Goals 1 and 2|
|Oct 21/22 – Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Conference||Goals 1, 3, 7 and 8|
As the Saskatchewan legal community connects with librarians, service providers, students, members of the public, each event promotes the #justiceforall #a2j goals of public engagement and legal health.
Saskatchewan’s A2J Week is one of the exciting things happening across the country to improve access to justice. Our ongoing, collective work on each of the Justice Development Goals gets Canada’s justice system closer to meeting our vision of an effective, functioning system to help everyone in Canada with their legal issues. A2J Week SK is an impressive week of meaningful programming and collaboration that is making a real impact towards these goals.