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From the Law Foundation of Saskatchewan
The Law Foundation of Saskatchewan (LFS) does not usually provide grants to the Provincial Government, but an exception was approved to support and accelerate the development of online resources that will undoubtedly provide easier access to justice for Saskatchewan residents and businesses.
Overall, most individuals who need to use the justice system, encounter two challenging barriers:
The e-Justice Initiative, a project of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General, which was approved to receive an LFS grant, aims to provide the public with access to free legal information, self-help tools, and early collaborative dispute resolution through a variety of methods including negotiation, facilitation and (if necessary) adjudication online and outside a traditional physical setting.
Currently the e-Justice Initiative is focusing on two projects: Online dispute resolution and an online legal information portal.
The online dispute resolution (ODR) will allow the public to resolve disputes from their home or office without having to travel to a courthouse, take time off work or arrange childcare.
While several organizations/sources (PLEA, the Law Society, government) already provided legal information on numerous topics, there was a need for a centralized online legal information portal.
The Ministry of Justice and Attorney General applied for a $450,000 grant to cover the costs of a Guided Pathway Legal Information Coordinator’s 3-year term. To lead this initiative the ministry sought to hire a senior lawyer with experience in legal information coordination and concluded its search by hiring Melanie Hodges Neufeld, previously Director of Legal Resources, Outreach and Access with the Law Society of Saskatchewan.
For more information on the Law Foundation, visit https://www.lawfoundation.sk.ca/