Dean Phillipson welcomes attendees to Medical-Legal Partnerships event on Oct. 17.

Third annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week begins at U of S

For a third year in a row, the University of Saskatchewan’s (U of S) College of Law and justice stakeholders from across the province are coming together to bring awareness to access to justice.

Established as a means of putting the public first in the access to justice conversation, this year’s Saskatchewan Access to Justice week will focus on the themes of:

  • Legal Information, Legal Advice, and Access to Justice; and
  • Expanding Engagement: Creating Connections Between Delivery of Justice and Health Services.

More than a dozen organizations and community groups have planned events that will take place throughout the week including a Run for Justice on Saturday, Oct. 20, and a Walk-in Family Law Information Clinic on Oct. 24-25. 

The week also will provide opportunities to engage new and diverse voices in the access to justice conversation and highlight initiatives that aim to improve access to justice for Saskatchewan residents. 

“We know that in any given year, one-third of Canadians will experience a legal issue,” said Brea Lowenberger, co-ordinator of the week as director of CREATE Justice at the U of S College of Law, and Saskatchewan’s access to justice co-ordinator. Lowenberger added that life issues such as divorce, owning a small business, or dealing with a family member’s estate, do not always initially present themselves as legal issues. 

“Part of the importance of Access to Justice Week is raising awareness about and detecting legal issues before they start or worsen,” she said. 

One of the ways CREATE will raise that awareness is through a province-wide public library advertising campaign as part of the Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information (SALI) project. The project aims to provide the public with better access to legal information through public libraries and the campaign highlights the opportunity for the public to find legal resources at their local library. A free legal resources fair is also being held in Saskatoon during the week to provide the public with an opportunity to meet with volunteer lawyers for up to 30 minutes. 

Visit the Access to Justice webpage to learn more about the week, and use the hashtag #SKA2J2018 to join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.