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Self –Represented Parties – Checklist

As more parties are self-represented before tribunals, the greater the importance of factors such as a tribunal’s cultural competencies, communication capacities, referral systems, and accommodation abilities.

CCAT is pleased to present the Self-Represented Parties – an Informal Checklist for Tribunals , prepared by its Access to Justice Committee (AJC). Recognizing that tribunals operate within a range of contexts with differing priorities and demands, this checklist is intended as a flexible reference, reflecting a variety of potential best practices in relation to self-represented parties. This is an evolving document, subject to ongoing input and updates. We hope that you will find it useful.

The mandate of the AJC is to find ways to improve access to justice within the administrative tribunal community in Canada. The committee consists of volunteers drawn from CCAT members1 across the nation.

The AJC organized a half-day program, focussed on the issue of self-representation, to coincide with the 2012 CCAT conference in Calgary, Alberta. A panel2 consisting of Mr. Rick Craig, Executive Director of the BC Justice Education Society, who spoke on various ways of improving access to justice for self-represented litigants, and Tribunal counterparts from across Canada, who spoke about the types of initiatives they have taken to facilitate the participation of self-represented parties, raised the awareness of Access to Justice issues with the audience.

Following the panel, the AJC organized a workshop3 in which conference participants discussed the creation of a checklist for the use of tribunals across Canada to guide them in the pursuit of access to justice measures. The results of this half-day exercise formed the basis of the checklist.

While the checklist does not purport to be complete, it is based on the experience of many individuals who work in the administrative justice community. It is designed to be used by tribunals, as a starting point for a check-up on their existing business practices. The AJC hopes that this tool can raise awareness and improve the service offered by tribunals.

We would very much appreciate hearing about your experience in using the checklist and receiving your comments and suggestions. Please contact info@ccat-ctac.org if you would like to communicate with us.


1 Committee members: Chair: Lilian Ma; Marilyn McNamara, Gaétan Cousineau, Gary Yee, Linda Lamoureux, Philippe Bouvier, Danielle Dumont, Gerald Heckman, Athanasios Hadjis, Terry Sargeant and Taivi Lobu.

2 Panel: Rick Craig, Gary Yee, Philippe Bouvier, Taivi Lobu, Josée Turcotte, Carolyn McCool and Andrea Smillie; Moderator: Lilian Ma.

3 Workshop: co-chairs: Marilyn McNamara and Gaétan Cousineau; Presenter: Athanasios Hadjis; Facilitators: Taivi Lobu, Josée Turcotte, Louanne Labelle and Gaétan Cousineau.