Coming soon, again … Law Library Hub

In February 2020, just before the start of the pandemic, we started a drop-in program to provide legal information and assistance to members of the public who were struggling with dealing with the courts. While the pandemic put a quick end to the drop-in idea, the need for legal information assistance didn’t dry up with it.

Since February 2021, the Law Library Hub has been operating on a virtual basis by appointment only. As of October 4, 2021, we are thrilled to announce we will be open again to in person service.

Under the supervision of a practising lawyer, law students will be available to provide assistance in the Great Library at the Winnipeg Courthouse on Monday afternoons between 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments can be booked using the form available here.

This program is run in partnership with the Law Society of Manitoba, Manitoba Department of Justice, Pro Bono Students Canada, and others, and funded by a grant from the Manitoba Law Foundation. The goal of the project remains the same: to provide information and assistance to members of the public. Representation without legal counsel is difficult and challenging, particularly when trying to follow the rules and procedures that the legal system requires, and puts extra pressure on judges and parties who are represented. Additional assistance for self-represented litigants is important in order to increase fairness and access to justice.  

As part of the pilot project, data will be collected on the types of problems people are encountering and the number of people the Hub assists.

Law Library Hub on Hiatus

The Law Society of Manitoba is committed to the advancement, promotion, and facilitation of increased access to justice for all Manitobans. The Law Library Hub is a pilot program and the goal of the project is to provide information and assistance to members of the public who are engaged with the Justice system.

The Library Hub began on an in-person basis in February of 2020 with law students from the Legal Help Centre, the Faculty of Law’s Family Externship course, and other student volunteers.

When COVID-19 restrictions came into play, the Library Hub project was put on hiatus. It started back up again in a virtual capacity in February of 2021 with 3 students from the Faculty of Law’s Family Externship course. It continued in this capacity until the end of the school term in April 2021.

We expect that services will resume in the fall once law school students resume their studies.

Gladue Awareness Project: Final Report

I’ve blogged previously about the Gladue Rights Research database out of Saskatchewan.

The Indigenous Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan has now published Gladue Awareness Project: Final Report, available free via pdf download.

Funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario Access to Justice Fund, this informative report shares knowledge with respect to both the crisis of Indigenous over-incarceration in Saskatchewan and the justice system’s response.

https://indigenouslaw.usask.ca/publications/gladue-awareness-project.php

(H/t Legal Sourcery)

Manitoba Government to create new Family Resolution Service

The government of Manitoba has announced that they will be launching the first phase of a family law service that will ensure services are more accessible and affordable to Manitobans.

The news release posted here lists new features for families that include:

  • early resolution support services delivered by family guides with expertise in domestic violence and safety planning, conflict resolution and mediation, family law and court processes.
  • navigation assistance to other culturally and linguistically appropriate specialized services, which could include a new Child Support Service, Legal Aid, expanded enforcement or other financial, legal or health and social services.
  • self-service tools and a resource inventory that is searchable by region and issue.
  • support to complete any prerequisites for court.
  • allows families to access support electronically.

The notice also mentions changes coming to the The Family Law Modernization Act, which will “expand the role of the Child Support Recalculation Service and give it the authority to make initial child support decisions in a broad range of cases, such as changes in employment, without going to court. “

Manitoba Courts Notice to the Profession

A new notice to the profession has been posted from all three courts detailing further restriction of access to the courthouses. This notice will limit the number of support persons to two per accused or victim.

It also reminds counsel to respect social distancing and maintaining a two meter gap.

To see the whole notice, please click here.