Since 1974, the Law Foundation of Ontario (LFO) has worked to improve access to justice for Ontarians. Because of grants it receives and its numerous partnerships, the LFO is able to provide expertise and services to help individuals understand the law and use it to improve their situation in life.
The Civil Law section of the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa is dedicated to equipping its students with the skills they need to think critically and to constantly challenging them to reflect on and question the world around them. Research-based learning is part of our DNA. The Civil Law Section is recognized as a centre of excellence in the creation and dissemination of legal knowledge, particularly in the area of civil law but also in many other areas including international law, human rights, Indigenous rights, children’s rights and environmental law.
The Civil Law Section and the Law Foundation of Ontario share the mission of advocating for and facilitating access to justice for all. Through the LFO’S significant financial support ($153,000) in recent years, the Civil Law Section has been able to continue developing activities and projects that improve access to justice. Here is a list of the current ones:
For the past three years, a large portion of the funds received from the LFO has gone to funding a number of co-op positions in non-profit community organizations that champion diversity and access to justice. These placements are tied directly to the LFO’s mission since they provide experiential learning experiences to future lawyers, meet the public’s need for access to justice and help students get involved in providing service to the public. The support from the Law Foundation of Ontario made it possible to provide a total of eight co-op placements.
Summer course on Aboriginal law
The recognition of Aboriginal legal traditions is one aspect of diversity that deserves special attention from the legal community. To do its part, the Civil Law Section offers students the chance to take a summer course on Aboriginal law, which focuses on the Innu justice system. Very popular with students, this course gives students an unrivaled opportunity to learn more about and better understand Aboriginal justice, and particularly the Innu people’s view of the earth and their view of the world, Innu governance and private legal relationships. The course is held on Aboriginal lands in Sept-Îles, Quebec, with the participation of many First Nations stakeholders, including numerous elders, who are considered the custodians of Aboriginal knowledge and traditions. The Civil Law Section is able to provide this very enriching experiential learning experience to future lawyers through the financial support of the LFO.
Clinique de droit notarial
Since it opened in 2015, the Clinique de droit notarial de l’Outaouais (formerly the Clinique de droit notarial de l’Université d’Ottawa) has provided free legal information to members of the public without the means to hire a lawyer. This legal clinic is also a great learning environment because students work in the clinic under the supervision of veteran notaries. Financial support from the LFO covers a portion of the clinic operating costs.
The Civil Law Section is well recognized and widely respected for its innovative research. In many cases, the best way for research to support positive societal goals involves transferring scholarly knowledge from academics to the general public, and to do this, research must be popularized so that it can reach a wider audience. LFO funding will be used in this project to produce video segments or website content to explain legal concepts to the general public.
The Civil Law Section gratefully acknowledges the Law Foundation of Ontario for its significant financial contribution to our common goal of making justice accessible and inclusive for all.
More information, please visit the Law Foundation of Ontario.