Education and Engagement Project

Awareness of issues arising at the intersection of poverty and the law is important both within the general public to build support for access to justice initiatives, and among service providers to improve client service and build capacity for systemic change. Several Constellation projects seek to educate the public and justice sector stakeholders about the intersection of poverty and the law, including the Poverty Law Course for Lawyers and the Poverty and the Law Module. 

The Justice System and Poverty: Research Report and Assessment

Service Provider Capacity Building Project

Cross Referrals: Research has found that legal and social service providers in Calgary are not always aware of other services available or do not understand what services are offered by providers. Further, referrals made by one legal service provider to another are not always accurate. The purpose of this project is to increase awareness of and referral to appropriate justice sector services and resources. 

Recommendations for Improving Referrals of Low-Income Clients to Justice Sector Services Providers

Intermediaries Training: People facing a legal issue may not recognize their problem as having a legal aspect to it. If they do recognize the legal aspect of their problem, they may not know what to do about it. The Constellation commissioned training for service providers and others who work with the public, to enable them to recognize when their clients’ problems have a legal aspect and know where to refer those clients. Please contact the Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta for information regarding this training. 

Poverty and the Law Module

Poverty and the Law-Expanding Perspectives is an interactive online module that aims to sensitize participants to the issues that arise at the intersection of poverty and the legal system, to better equip them to serve their clients and communities. The module is available to anyone, including post-secondary institutions and other learning platforms without charge, for incorporation into existing courses. An Instructor’s Resource was also developed to assist with that. Development of the Module and Instructor’s Resource was funded by the Catalyst Fund of Enough for All, Calgary’s poverty reduction strategy. The Module has been approved by the Law Society of British Columbia for continuing professional development; approved by the Law Society of Ontario for two hours of EDI Professionalism Content for continuing professional development; and distributed by other Canadian law societies to their members for such purposes.

Alberta Crown Prosecution Service Conference

October 6-7, 2021

The Justice Sector Constellation had the privilege of presenting eight sessions at the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service conference October 6-7, 2021. Special focus was given to the intersection of poverty and the legal system in the context of the work of the Alberta Crown Prosecution Services. Participants included Alberta prosecutors and staff, Saskatchewan prosecutors, and federal prosecutors. Below are the slide decks from two of the sessions.