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Schulich School of Law

6061 University Avenue

Halifax, Nova Scotia 

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What we're Learning

You talked and we listened!

Since the beginning of #TalkJustice, we have heard hundreds of stories about the justice system in Nova Scotia. Your experiences are helping to shape our understanding of why problems are happening, and how the justice system needs to change to put the public first. 

Here's what you told us you want to see

Justice:
• Increase access to lawyers and community supports to solve legal
disputes/challenges
• Encourage a kind, helpful approach from both front-line staff and lawyers
• Increase access to cultural competency and trauma informed education
• Increase diversity among the Bar, judiciary and front-line staff

 

Media:
• Involve the media in conversations and consultations about justice
• Continue to consider the role that the media can play in increasing access
to justice
• Provide a platform for diverse voices on justice

 

Education:
• Provide better explanations of justice system in formal education
• Improve access to self-help materials
• Bring more education into equity-seeking communities
• Identify and work with community organizations that can help individuals
navigate the justice system

 

Demystification of the legal system:
• Reconsider formal courtroom practices that alienate the public and
encourage the use of plain language
• Conduct task analyses of common procedures to determine how they can
be simplified

 

 

Better collaboration:
• All justice system partners must begin to work together
• All justice system partners must take responsibility for the actions of the
system as a whole

 

 


Better consultations:
• Continue to use community leaders and organizers for community
engagements
• Ensure that an obvious link is drawn between consultations and programs
that create positive outcomes for equity-seeking communities
• Begin dedicated rural outreach

 

Be proactive:
• Make cultural competency and race literacy education a mandatory class
in law school and a component of the skills course for articled clerks
• Create a feedback loop that allows front-line workers to report common
challenges for justice system users
Look to what works as a model:
• Promote and increase the use of dispute resolution mechanisms
• Increase support for mental health/wellness courts and consider other
community-based court options
• Increase access to legal information through schools and online

Talk Justice Final Report 2015

Read the full report here