“From small beginnings to transformative change”
An access to justice movement is about action across the justice system. The more the movement takes off, the more justice system stakeholders will be engaged in access-to-justice innovation. One of A2JBC’s roles is to inspire innovation.
Innovation initiatives are ways of starting small to test things out. From small beginnings, initiatives can become transformative if they feed into bigger change. A2JBC, by connecting justice system stakeholders, provides opportunities to share what can be learned from individual initiatives to stimulate further innovation and move to implementation of innovative ideas in the mainstream justice system.
Transforming the justice system requires a shift in the way the justice system approaches justice improvement. This is the A2JBC approach: collaborative, user-centred, experimental, and evidence-based. A2JBC supports justice system stakeholders in applying this approach.
It was decided in February 2016 to encourage the development of a small number of A2JBC initiatives as testing grounds and exemplars of the A2JBC approach. These initiatives are collaborative and rely on justice system stakeholders for implementation.
A2JBC identified family and Aboriginal issues as its two initial priorities. During 2016, three family initiatives emerged, which hold the promise of making a difference to BC families experiencing separation or divorce in accessing justice. Working with the BC Aboriginal Justice Council and the Cowichan Tribes, a fourth initiative was identified in the area of Indigenous child well-being where it intersects with the justice system.
The four initiatives are:
The purpose of the A2JBC Unbundling initiative is to improve access to justice for BC families experiencing separation or divorce by encouraging more BC family lawyers to offer unbundled legal services to the public and to connect those lawyers to families who need such services.
Skills for Changing Families
The purpose of the Skills for Changing Families initiative is to improve access to justice for high conflict BC families experiencing separation or divorce by supporting them (through court direction, counselling, skills development and specialized mediation) to manage their differences without recourse to lengthy and repetitive, expensive and stress-producing court processes.
Family Justice Pathfinder
The purpose of the Family Justice Pathfinder initiative is to improve access to justice for BC families experiencing separation or divorce by connecting them with affordable services they need (legal and other) to help them identify and navigate successfully the pathway that works best for them.
Cowichan Tribes Justice
The purpose of the Cowichan Tribes Justice initiative is to improve access to justice for First Nations in British Columbia and reduce the number of Indigenous children in care by implementing procedures into the BC child protection court system that reflect Indigenous legal traditions.