Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project
About the project
Lead investigator: Beth Bilson, QC
Collaborator: Brea Lowenberger, Director, CREATE Justice and Access to Justice Coordinator
- Public Legal Education Association of Saskatchewan (PLEA)
- Law Society of Saskatchewan Library
- Saskatoon Public Library
- University Library, University of Saskatchewan
The objective of the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (the SALI Project) is to increase access to legal information for Saskatchewan residents. This project has emerged in the context of the Dean’s Forum on Access to Justice and Dispute Resolution. In its deliberations, the forum identified access to legal information as one of the critical components of access to justice.
As a first step, a one-day action-oriented meeting was held on Sept. 12, 2016 at the College of Law between several dozen justice stakeholders and library representatives to discuss how library representatives, as intermediaries and credible information providers, could help improve access to justice in Saskatchewan. The meeting was generously supported by a University of Saskatchewan President’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant.
A number of themes and action items emerged from the day’s discussions, as was documented in the Law Society of Saskatchewan Bencher’s Digest, and on the College of Law website. From the momentum of the event, the SALI Project was established. The SALI Project partners and participants are in the process of implementing these next steps, which includes hosting a conference on October 20-21, 2017, during the Second Annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week. The primary purpose for the event will be to bring together a large number of public library representatives from rural, remote, and small urban centres in Saskatchewan as well as experts in the topic area, to further address how greater access to legal information can be achieved through partnering with libraries.
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Brea Lowenberger, Legal information providers gather to discuss access to justice (law.usask.ca, October 7, 2016)
Melanie Hodges Neufeld, Brea Lowenberger, & Beth Bilson, QC, Putting the Public First: Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (Law Society of Saskatchewan Bencher’s Digest, Winter 2016) at 6