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
- Urban Public Library (Saskatoon Public Library)
- Rural Public Library (Wheatland Regional Library, Southeast Regional Library, and Parkland Regional Library)
- University Library, University of Saskatchewan
- Innovation and Legislation Division, Ministry of Justice
- Provincial Library & Literacy Office, Ministry of Education
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 undertook implementing these next steps, which included hosting a conference on October 20-21, 2017, during the Second Annual Saskatchewan Access to Justice Week. The primary purpose for the event was 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. Again, the project partners are collaborating to implement the ideas for next steps that were identified during the conference.
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Alan Kilpatrick, Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project Conference (librarycanuck.wordpress.com, February 1, 2018)
Melanie Hodges Neufeld & Brea Lowenberger, SALI Program Update (Law Society of Saskatchewan Benchers’ Digest, Winter 2017) at 18
Public, justice, healthcare and library sectors come together for access to justice solutions (law.usask.ca, November 6, 2017)
Melanie Hodges Neufeld, Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Conference (lsslib.wordpress.com, October 26, 2017)
Access to Justice Week (saskatoon.ctvnews.ca, October 19, 2017)
Brea Lowenberger, Announcing SK A2J Week Events for Members from Other Disciplines – Public Library and Health Sectors (lsslib.wordpress.com, October 12, 2017)
Amanda Jerome, University of Saskatchewan project tackles access to justice issues (thelawyersdaily.ca, May 31, 2017)
Alan Kilpatrick, The Saskatchewan Access to Legal Information Project (SALI) (lsslib.wordpress.com, May 25, 2017)
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 Benchers’ Digest, Winter 2016) at 6
Related project publications
Beth Bilson, Brea Lowenberger, & Graham Sharp, “Reducing the ‘Justice Gap’ Through Access to Legal Information: Establishing Access to Justice Entry Points at Public Libraries“ (2018) 34:2 Windsor YB Access Just 99.
Alan Kilpatrick, “Legal Information Innovation in Saskatchewan” (2017) 12: 1 Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research 1.