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The National Self-Represented Litigants Project

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) builds on the National Self-Represented Litigants (SRL’s) Research Study conducted by Dr. Julie Macfarlane from 2011-2013. NSRLP is committed to collaboration to enhance the responsiveness of the Canadian justice system to SRL’s, and to continuing dialogue among the stakeholders who include SRL’s, lawyers, judges and court services staff. NSRLP is also acting as a clearinghouse for information and resources related to the SRL phenomenon.

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Online Resources

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A starter checklist to help you represent yourself in family or civil court

This checklist helps you prepare yourself before going to court. This version includes some examples. Check out the link to "other formats" below, which gives you a blank version of the checklist that you can customize.
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Considering Mindfulness

This primer is for people representing themselves in family or civil court. Includes three "must-do" stress busters for SRLs, the science behind mindfulness, getting started with the practice, and more resources about ...
View PDF from The National Self-Represented Litigants Project


My Learned Friend: Building Constructive Working Relationships Between Self-Represented Litigants and Opposing Counsel

This resource assists both SRLs & opposing counsels to work together. It offers advice on creating a good working relationship & aims to understanding of both sides about the challenges each faces.
View PDF from The National Self-Represented Litigants Project


The Evidence Primer: How to Present Your Evidence at Trial

This Primer is an introduction to the law of evidence for self-represented litigants. It provides a basic overview of the provincial rules of evidence for civil cases, incl. family cases, with a focus on practical ...
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Working With Self-represented Litigants: Ideas and Suggestions From the Bench

This document contains practical tips and strategies that judges have used in their own courtrooms. Includes a section on how self-represented litigants can work more effectively with judges.
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Critical Judicial Decisions for Self-Represented Litigants

This primer contains a concise summary of Pintea v Johns. It also demonstrates a number of ways that Pintea may be successfully applied in a legal argument – and highlights specific limitations as well. It also ...
View PDF from The National Self-Represented Litigants Project


What	Can Mindfulness Training Do For You?

This resource is designed to support you through the experience of representing yourself in a legal process. It talks about stress and how mindfulness can help, as well as three mindfulness practices.
View PDF from The National Self-Represented Litigants Project