From the University of Saskatchewan College of Law
The University of Saskatchewan’s (USask) College of Law is taking a leadership role in the second annual National Access to Justice Week from Oct. 25-29. This year’s theme is inclusivity with a focus on Truth and Reconciliation.
Each province involved — Saskatchewan, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island — will host free, virtual events highlighting community justice work in Canada and the importance of inclusivity in providing legal services.
“This year has highlighted challenges and opportunities for much-needed dialogue and change,” said Brea Lowenberger, director of the Centre for Research, Evaluation, and Action Towards Equal (CREATE) Justice at the USask College of Law and organizer of Access to Justice Week in Saskatchewan. “Like other sectors, the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated disparities and inequalities in the justice sector, especially concerning vulnerable populations. Despite this, work continues to be done within and among justice organizations to make positive advancements in access to justice. This year we invite people to learn and collaborate with others on improving our legal justice system.”
This week also marks the fifth anniversary of CREATE Justice.
“Meaningful advances in access to justice require collaboration among numerous organizations, including learning from the public’s experience with the justice system,” said Martin Phillipson, dean of the law college, adding that this is a key aim of Access to Justice Week and an interest at CREATE Justice, and the college at large.
“Our college’s commitment to access to justice is evident through many initiatives we’ve launched including the Nunavut Law Program, which provided a Nunavut-based legal education to Nunavummiut,” said Phillipson. “Twenty-one students, the majority of whom are Inuit, graduated with law degrees and will have a positive and transformative impact on the justice system in Nunavut.”
More information about access to justice initiatives is available at: Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week.
Events open to the public include Reflections on the impact of COVID-19 on online adjudication and a session on Resolving Family Law Problems Out-of-Court.
On October 27, the Law Society of Saskatchewan will present Developing and engaging in a Reconciliation mapping exercise, as part of its commitment to implementing the TRC Calls to Action. The program was developed and will be facilitated by the Office of the Treaty Commissioner to determine a baseline of reconciliation efforts and support the development of recommendations for forward progress.
Licensees, members of the public and media are welcome to attend programming, free of charge. Space is limited so advance registration is required.
Canada’s Access to Justice Week is a collaborative national event supported by CREATE Justice at USask’s College of Law, Law Society of Saskatchewan, CBA Alberta, the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, Law Society of Ontario, and the Access to Justice and Law Reform Institute of Nova Scotia.