Connect with #TalkJustice
What does justice mean for you? Do you see obstacles? Possibilities? Let us know at email@example.com. Help keep the conversation growing on social media – just use the hashtag #TalkJustice.
Stay connected with NSBS:
Justice is a tough word to define but there’s no shortage of things to say about it, if #TalkJustice is any indication.
This Society project is building a conversation around access to justice (#A2J) in Nova Scotia, with voices from both the community and the legal sector.
By listening and sharing, we will better understand the legal needs and experiences of Nova Scotia’s diverse communities and better integrate their voices into the legal system. This can only lead to improvements in the delivery of legal services and legal information.
The project started with a series of meetings and interviews with community groups and individuals, allowing for frank discussions about barriers and challenges to justice.
“One thing that kept coming up was ‘justice for who?’” says LaMeia Reddick of North Preston, who conducted many of the community chats on the Society’s behalf. “And this sense that there’s no justice if you don’t have money. It’s concerning if most people feel that justice does not apply to them, it shows there is a lot of work to do.”
Now, #TalkJustice is sharing the feedback and expanding the conversation. Inspired by the Humans of New York phenomenon, the Society is posting photos and comments at its new #TalkJustice headquarters at talkjustice.ca, and sharing them via Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Please join the discussion by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and use the hashtag #TalkJustice for posts on your own social media sites.
Common themes are already emerging: poverty and lack of opportunity; deep feelings of disempowerment; not enough progress made in eliminating racism, discrimination and cultural bias or to address mental health issues before they lead to legal problems; inaccessibility; gaps in legal services for the civil court system; and more education needed to improve legal literacy.
On May 22, the Society will host a #TalkJustice launch event at the Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre to discuss findings thus far and convene the conversation with a cross-section of voices. #TalkJustice won’t stop there – social media will help expand the public discussion.
Regular public consultation is part of the Society’s mandate to seek to improve the administration of justice, under section 4(1) of the Legal Profession Act. #TalkJustice also stems from the Strategic Framework set out by Council: a key activity for the current year is to “advocate for enhanced access to legal services and to the justice system for equity-seeking and economically disadvantaged groups.”
Also driving the project are several national #A2J studies such as Access to Civil and Family Justice: A Roadmap for Change from October 2013, which calls for “putting the public first” – and it’s hard to do that without actually listening to the public.
The issues raised in #TalkJustice will help inform the Society’s priorities for future access to justice initiatives. But most importantly, #TalkJustice hopes to strengthen community engagement around #A2J, and build spaces where the conversations between the public and ‘the system’ can continue to grow.