National recognition for LISNS’ Public Navigator Project

The LISNS Public Navigator Project has been recognized by the Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, for innovation in access to justice.

Following the Innovation and Access to Justice Conference in Montreal in October, LISNS and MyLawBC were recognized for having looked to inspiration outside of Canada and successfully integrating it into their respective provinces. 

An overview of innovations shared at the conference are found here, on the CFCJ’s Access to Justice blog: http://cfcj-fcjc.org/a2jblog/integrating-innovation-from-other-jurisdictions-thoughts-from-the-innovation-and-access-to.

LISNS (the Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia) is in the process of building a self-rep support resource, stemming from a need expressed by the regional justice centres when LISNS conducted its cross-province consultation last year. LISNS has just released the prototype documents developed for the project, in response to significant demand; these are found on the LISNS website at www.legalinfo.org/public-navigator/representing-yourself.html.  

The LISNS Public Navigator Project is based on a pilot underway in New York, with non-legal volunteers providing support to self-reps through the provision of legal information on resources and options at an early stage of conflicts. This project has the support of the Honourable Chief Justice Michael MacDonald, Chief Justice of Nova Scotia, and the justices of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court General Division.

A pilot launched in Bridgewater this fall with a plan to evaluate the experience before rolling it out across the province in 2016. LISNS also anticipates expanding it to support self-reps at Small Claims Court.