The Need for Human-Centred Design in Ontario Courts

Human-centred design is an approach to problem solving. The approach takes inspiration from real people and how they use products. It involves making prototypes, learning how users interact with them, and refining the product based on feedback. The goal is to end with a user-friendly product. To learn more about human-centred design: read here. Our … Continue reading The Need for Human-Centred Design in Ontario Courts

Do Litigants Understand Remote Hearings? What should be done about it?

In a study conducted in England, it was found that 4 out of 10 parents involved in a remote family hearing did not understand it (Legalfutures Article). “Two-thirds (66%) of parents said they believed their case had not been dealt with well remotely, with 40% recounting that they did not understand their remote hearing – … Continue reading Do Litigants Understand Remote Hearings? What should be done about it?

Creating Online Parks and What Courts Can Learn from Them

“The public park is only one of many institutions that was created to enact America’s egalitarian values. At the turn of the 20th century, public libraries opened nationwide to help foster literacy. In the 1910s, a few communities in the Midwest embraced the radical notion of free, universal secondary education: high school.”- Eli Pariser (“To … Continue reading Creating Online Parks and What Courts Can Learn from Them

Electronic Court Filing in Ontario is Becoming More Common

Ontario’s courts are embracing electronic filing for cases. Currently, you can file many types of civil documents online and can file material for reference during a hearing. The two main systems being used are the Civil Submissions Online Portal (to file documents) and CaseLines (for electronic use of documents during hearings). To learn more about … Continue reading Electronic Court Filing in Ontario is Becoming More Common

New Culture Shift Towards Scheduling Court Motions in Ontario

“A litigation culture has arisen in this province over the last three decades which extols creating and litigating peripheral procedural disputes, instead of moving towards the timely adjudication of disputes on their merits. That culture now lauds, as the skilled barrister, the motions specialist, not the final hearing expert.” – Justice David M. Brown  Given the … Continue reading New Culture Shift Towards Scheduling Court Motions in Ontario

Online Juries?

It has recently been reported that jury trials may resume soon. The Toronto Star reported the following: “Canada’s justice system has no intention of holding Zoom jury trials — or cancelling them. That means … thousands of others may soon find themselves called into an Ontario courthouse, reporting for jury duty amid the ongoing pandemic … Continue reading Online Juries?

Revisiting R v. S. (R.D.), 1997: A Case About a Black Judge on “Trial” for Acquitting a Black Boy

“It wasn’t that long ago in Canada when our justice system put a Black judge on trial for acquitting a Black boy of allegedly running his bike into an officer’s leg – her offence? Speaking truth to power by stating that sometimes police over-react when dealing with Black youth.” – Professor David Tanovich @dtanovich  In R … Continue reading Revisiting R v. S. (R.D.), 1997: A Case About a Black Judge on “Trial” for Acquitting a Black Boy

Can Chatbots Answer Legal Questions?

The People’s Law School in British Columbia is offering free legal information through a Chatbot on Facebook. @chatwithbeagle answers questions through Facebook messenger at https://www.messenger.com/t/chatwithbeagle. The chatbot starts off saying: I work for People’s Law School. I’m here to sniff out information to help you with common legal problems. My goal is to empower you … Continue reading Can Chatbots Answer Legal Questions?

Small Claims Court Jurisdiction Increased to $35,000: What does this mean for current cases?

    Currently, the most someone can ask for in Small Claims Court is $25,000. Beginning on January 1, 2020, the Small Claims Court will increase its jurisdiction from $25,000 to $35,000. Litigants who started a claim in the Superior Court can seek to transfer their case to the Small Claims Court if the amount sought … Continue reading Small Claims Court Jurisdiction Increased to $35,000: What does this mean for current cases?

Court Services of the Future: Online Mediation

  In British Columbia, the Legal Services Society has launched a free, online service called “The Family Resolution Centre”. It is part of My Law BC(delivered by legal aid provider Legal Services Society). The Family Resolution Centre program of My Law BC helps separated couples create parenting plans online. The parenting plans deal with parenting … Continue reading Court Services of the Future: Online Mediation