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Canada Public Legal Education and Information Study: Report to Justice Canada

This report on the findings of a Department of Justice commissioned survey of Canadians’ attitudes and behaviour with respect to legal information indicates that most respondents did not see themselves as knowledgeable about legal issues, expressed reservations regarding the justice system given a perceived power imbalance that tips in the direction of educated and high income groups, and typically access legal information through lawyers. Other findings include a lack of awareness of local PLEI organizations although it should be noted that the majority of those who did know of them did not access their services. Of those who did, the vast majority were satisfied with the information provided. Respondents did not report a strong interest in PLEI. In terms of venues most likely to attract PLEI users, new immigrants favoured organizations targeting their communities. Government sites were preferred over legal aid clinics, other community agencies or community media outlets. However, governments are viewed as needing to improve their performances in PLEI provision. Despite low levels of legal knowledge, most respondents felt that it is an important component in access to justice and in effective social participation particularly for low income communities, Aboriginal people, new immigrants and people with disabilities. Phone in help lines were said to be the most effective PLEI delivery method. Aboriginal communities are in most need of legal information and most likely to use legal aid offices to get it.

Author: COMPAS Inc.
Title of Work: Canada Public Legal Education and Information Study: Report to Justice Canada
Date: 2002
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
URL: Click here
Topic: Legal information best practices
Location of Authoring Organization by Country: Canada
Location of Authoring Organization by Province/ State (unless national entity):
Availability: Full report online
Language: English