The legal system is complex and difficult to navigate. Most people are not familiar with the legal system or connected with people in it, so everything about it is new. The cost of legal advice often limits access to legal services. Access to justice sector services includes affordable legal services; user-friendly forms; and use of plain language supported by language services.
There is no one entry point to justice sector services, and no clear path to follow when faced with a legal issue. Coordination of justice sector services involves collaborative partnerships and integrated justice sector resources to provide a continuous spectrum of services, as well as effective referrals both to and by justice sector stakeholders.
Education and Engagement
People lack knowledge about legal issues and where to find legal information. Also, people are not aware of how legal issues may be related to other life challenges, or the societal cost of unresolved legal issues. Education and Engagement includes education of both the public and the justice sector regarding the intersection of poverty and the legal system; education of the public regarding legal rights and how to access and navigate the legal system; information exchange among organizations (within and outside of the justice sector); and advocacy on issues within the justice sector.
The Constellation is a Champion of Enough for All, Calgary’s poverty reduction strategy. Vibrant Communities Calgary stewards Enough for All, and provides backbone support to the Constellation. The Constellation obtains funding for projects as required, and has benefitted from funding provided by the Alberta Law Foundation, the Calgary Foundation, the Enough for All Catalyst Fund, Innoweave, and the Law Foundation of Ontario’s Access to Justice Fund.