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Learn about community justice help

CLEO is exploring how community workers and other trusted intermediaries can be better supported to help people who come to them with life-affecting problems with a legal element. Our recent research on this issue, led by Julie Mathews from CLEO in collaboration with Professor David Wiseman of the uOttawa Faculty of Law, proposes a framework for “community justice help” that discusses the core principles behind good-quality community justice help and offers markers of good quality. A full paper on this research, which has been funded through a community justice fellowship awarded by The Law Foundation of Ontario, will be available in late autumn 2019.

To learn more about this research:

  • read Julie Mathews' November 2019 blog post on Slaw.ca: "Supporting Community Justice Help and Advancing Access to Justice"
  • watch a panel of community workers describe the work they do to help clients with law-related problems (the panel discussion starts 42:00 minutes into the webcast, and lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes)
  • read Julie Mathews' blog post providing highlights from this Autumn 2019 panel discussion
  • read a summary and preview discussion paper about the research
  • CLEO’s work in this area builds on past research on “trusted help” commissioned by The Law Foundation of Ontario. This research showed that community workers are much needed supports for vulnerable people who come to them with life-affecting problems with a legal element. Clients trust community workers, and they in turn show “inspiring commitment” in helping their clients. They also often have a cultural or linguistic connection with the communities they serve, deepening trust.