Self Help Research

Self Help Information Research

The Society is pleased to be involved in the BC Supreme Court Self-Help Information Centre, which opened as a pilot project in Vancouver in April 2005. This page has research and documents related to the development, operation and evaluation of the Centre.

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"Voices from the Field" Needs Mapping - Self-help Services in Rural and Remote Communities
The goal of this project was to examine civil and family justice needs in rural and remote areas of BC and to explore possible options for providing access to self-help services that will assist users to resolve their civil and family justice issues. The overview of current research focused on three areas: the impact of distance; the unique challenges faced by Aboriginal peoples; and the use of technology in rural and remote areas.

Impact of distance: People living in rural parts of this province simply do not have the same access to justice as those living in urban areas. Residents in rural areas in general have less knowledge of available legal resources, and less access to and success in using technology-based services. Geography imposes barriers, particularly in terms of access to court services in the north.

Unique challenges faced by Aboriginal peoples: The Struggle for Justice report, prepared for the Legal Services Society (2005) gathered information about legal needs of Aboriginal peoples in the north. This report found that the greatest barrier to access is the absence of affordable and quality services that reflect the cultural and traditional components unique to each First Nations community, and that are developed and implemented by Aboriginal peoples.

Access to and use of technology: Network BC estimates that 91 per cent of British Columbians live in communities that can access the Internet, making BC one of the most connected jurisdictions in Canada. However, a digital divide exists between urban and rural communities. In 2005, only 58% of rural and small town residents access the Internet, compared with a national average of 68%.

Final Evaluation Report
In August 2006, the Centre released results of its initial year of operation. The study ran from April 2005 to March 2006.
Initial Evaluation Report
In November 2005, the Centre released results of its initial six months of operation.
Centre Opens
The BC Supreme Court Self-Help Information Centre was opened in April 2005 and officially launched in June 2005.
Developing Models for Coordinated Services for Self-Representing Litigants
The Society conducted research to assess the needs of both family and non-family civil matters at the Supreme Court of B.C. The research produced an detailed mapping of needs, along with a proposed design and method of evaluation. All of the information is available below.
For more information, visit www.supremecourtselfhelp.bc.ca.