Posts tagged Rechtwijzer
LSS and HiiL announce MyLawBC partnership

The Legal Services Society of British Columbia and HiiL Innovating Justice are pleased to announce a partnership for MyLawBC, an interactive new online legal resource for British Columbia. This innovation will enhance access to justice in BC and give ordinary British Columbians access to a range of new tools to help them resolve their legal problems. It will feature public legal information, interactive guided pathways to diagnose legal problems and direct users to self-help resources, both online and in person. People experiencing relationship breakdowns can access action plans and online negotiation tools to help each party make a separation agreement that works for the family. MyLawBC will be based on the interactive Rechtwijzer platform, a public legal resource developed by HiiL in partnership with the Dutch Legal Aid Board. It will include legal information on everyday legal problems and links to key public legal information and education resources. The platform builds on HiiL’s experience with interactive information, best practices for online dispute resolution, and research conducted with users and professionals. The scope of the interactive platform will include family law, family violence, wills/estates and life planning and foreclosure.

MyLawBC will help many people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer. It will improve the average British Columbian’s access to justice for everyday legal problems. As a platform it will support other organizations in pursuit of the same goal. LSS will establish an advisory committee with key BC stakeholders. We will also work with an international committee to develop these new online resources.

MyLawBC represents an exciting new chapter in the history of public legal information services, not just for British Columbia but with its international partnership model, around the world.

Funding for MyLawBC is provided by The Law Foundation of BC.

We plan to launch MyLawBC by the end of June, 2015.

HiiL leads the MyLawBC scrum

The idea behind MyLawBC is innovative: create an interactive site that helps British Columbians diagnose their legal problem and then give them an action plan to solve it. It’s something we haven’t seen in the province — or even country — before. It’s a new approach and, for us, it requires a different way of thinking. Rechtwijzer (which means Signpost to Justice in Dutch) is one of the big inspirations for MyLawBC. It’s a joint project between HiiL (the Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law) and the Dutch Legal Aid Board. The online diagnosis and triage tool helps users get to the information they need to resolve their legal problem. An upcoming version of the site will actually allow users to go through most of the divorce process and will give access to mediators and other tools that will help people avoid the court system.

Because of their experience creating such an innovative system, we invited HiiL to come to Vancouver for a one-week scrum where we could learn from HiiL’s experiences with developing a project similar to MyLawBC. Over the course of the week, staff from LSS and HiiL worked collaboratively to write more than 17,000 words, mapping out the development process for MyLawBC and creating effective pathways to guide users to their needs. We also had a promising conversation with HiiL about ways that we might use not just their learnings, but also the Rechtwijzer platform itself for MyLawBC.

Right now, we’re working on writing a detailed proposal on how we might move forward with working with HiiL, including ways that we can use Rechtwijzer as a collaborative platform with other PLEI providers in BC. If we move forward with HiiL, we see significant opportunities for sharing what we’ve learned with other PLEI providers in future scrums.

By mid-October, we will make our final decision about what IT platform we’ll be using for MyLawBC. In the meantime, we will move forward with planning and preparation for developing the site’s content and developing plans for broader community stakeholder engagement and advisory and steering committee development.

— Sherry MacLennan, Director Public Legal Information and Applications