A2J Week: Innovation Sandbox Aims to Improve Access to Justice

The Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society is pleased to announce the launch of the Innovation Sandbox Pilot Project, an initiative to encourage creative and novel solutions to access to justice issues across Nova Scotia. The Innovation Sandbox Pilot Project was created at the direction of Council at the November 2022 meeting.

The Innovation Sandbox encourages and supports the safe development of new modes of legal service delivery to improve access to justice in Nova Scotia. The initiative accomplishes this by exempting participant law firms from certain regulations that prevent their project from operating within our regulatory framework. These projects can include embracing new technologies, business models, or funding structures that are outside of industry norms. The Society closely monitors these projects to ensure that they are working so the public is protected from any undue risk. Through this, the sandbox participant can test their innovative legal service and the Society is able to see what could help improve access to justice in Nova Scotia through regulatory reform.

It is the Society’s goal with this project to promote the economic viability of innovative projects and extend legal services to underserviced communities. The Innovation Sandbox is currently working with three participants as a pilot so the Society can eventually receive applications from more firms and have a structure in place to accept, monitor and encourage more innovative projects to help reshape access to justice in this province.

“This is an exciting time for members and firms looking to be on the cutting edge of regulatory reform,” said Heather Burchill, Professional Responsibility Counsel for the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. “The projects that we are bringing on as part of the pilot project are all widely different in how they approach access to justice, but we are confident that they will help bring up meaningful and necessary change to the profession.”

Based on feedback from pilot participants, the Society is refining its application process to better understand the projects being considered. When the Society completes the pilot, firms from across Nova Scotia will be invited to apply to join the innovation Sandbox with their project to improve Access to Justice in our province.