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Public legal education and information study

Justice Canada commissioned COMPAS to conduct a survey among Canadians to explore their attitudes and behaviour with respect to legal information and legal assistance. A total of 1,502 interviews were done by phone. The results showed that Canadians differ in their perceived knowledge of the justice system in Canada and that confidence in the justice system varies considerably. The study looked at participants requiring legal assistance and legal information, as well as awareness and interest in public legal education and information (PLEI). Participants identified youth crime and tougher sentencing as the most important justice-related issues facing Canadians at this time. Surprisingly, 76% said they were not aware of any organizations in their community that provide PLEI to the public. The majority of participants think it is important that governments in Canada provide information to help people understand how laws affect them and enable them to participate effectively in the justice system. Almost half prefer to get such information as print material or brochures, followed by just over one-third who use the Internet or electronic information. Detailed quantitative results are included in the report, as well as a multivariate analysis. The report recommends considering if those who are positively oriented towards PLEI (mostly women) are more interested in the policy-oriented areas of law rather than the day-to-day legal services. If this is the case, it could help clarify the mission of PLEI agencies or suggest ways of broadening the focus of PLEI activities to include more common and established legal information needs.

Author: COMPAS Inc.
Title of Work: Public legal education and information study
Date: 2002
Organization: Department of Justice Canada
URL: Click here
Topic: Legal information best practices & Needs assessments
Location of Authoring Organization by Country: Canada
Location of Authoring Organization by Province/ State (unless national entity):
Availability: Full report online
Language: English