The Public Navigator Program won the Canadian Bar Association - Nova Scotia Branch, (CBA-NS) 2016 Law Day Award.
It has been receiving both national and local recognition as a groundbreaking initiative which is viewed as:
- helping self-represented individuals in the Canadian justice system through the provision of legal information and resources by trained community volunteers;
- fostering greater public understanding of the Canadian justice system;
- encouraging and promoting access to justice; and
- informing and educating the public about the courts, the justice system and the legal profession.
The Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia’s, Public Navigator Project, has the support of the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia and the Supreme Court judges of Nova Scotia General Division in addition to the court administrators at the 10 regional Justice Centres.
The LISNS Public Navigator Project has been receiving national attention from the following sources:
- The Lawyers Weekly (January 22, 2016) at PDF attached, “Non-lawyers to help self-represented”.
- The Canadian Forum on Civil Justice (October 2015) for innovation in access to justice for having looked to inspiration outside of Canada and successfully integrating it into Nova Scotia
- The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (November 2015), being run by Dr. Julie Macfarlane’s at the University of Windsor.
Macfarlane noted, “Congratulations Heather! I think that NS is one of the most progressive parts of the country at the moment with its many innovations, and this is a deserved recognition for you.”
- The New Law Journal, Fall 2015, (UK), Roger Smith, columns, commented favourably upon legal assistance provided through the models of LISNS and Nova Scotia Legal Aid
- The CBC TV “The National Program” profiled LISNS work through a one day taping (June 2015) of public navigator training for a series on self-represented individuals across Canada.
- CBC Radio Interview Information Morning, with Heather de Berdt Romilly (LISNS ED) and lawyer Julien Matte (Dec 1, 2016): podcast.cbc.ca
- South Shore Breaker - Chronicle Herald (Nov 21, 2016) "Volunteer Legal Navigators Pilot Project recognized"
- Press Release for recognition by NS Minister of Justice at Nova Scotia Legislature (November 3, 2016): Public Navigator Project recognized
- Tweets in Support (NS Department of Justice, Law Foundation of Ontario): Tweets-supporting.pdf
- South Shore Breaker (August 2, 2016) "South Shore Public Navigator Pilot Project Provides Information on Legal System"
- CBC News Nova Scotia (April 21, 2016) "Bridgewater volunteers learn to help people representing themselves in court"
- allNova Scotia (February 29, 2016) “LEGAL CHARITY PILOT FOR THE SELF-REPRESENTED”;
- South Shore community newspapers including LighthouseNOW, South Shore Breaker and the Bridgewater Progress Bulletin (February 2016);
- CTV Morning Live interview on March 23, 2015 with Heather de Berdt Romilly (LISNS ED) and lawyer Chuck Ford (LISNS Public Navigator Advisory Committee member) to discuss the public navigator program focusing on self-represented individuals: LISNS- Self Defense in the legal world interview.
- Radio coverage (March 2015) of LISNS work for self-reps through an interview with Wendy Turner and Lauren Grant on 95.7 FM discussing representing yourself in court.