Ontario, in partnership with the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, is improving access to justice in French by establishing the province’s first continuing professional development centre for francophone legal professionals.
The pratiquO pilot project will help Francophone and Francophile justice professionals in Ontario meet the Law Society of Upper Canada requirement to complete 12 hours of professional development every year, and help non-jurists upgrade their legal skills in French.
Justice professionals from across the province are invited to take advantage of this French-language legal continuing professional development program which will include both online and in-class instruction. The pilot will run from June 2017 to August 2018.
Improving access to justice for Francophones and supporting professional development for francophone legal professionals is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
“The pratiquO pilot project was created to expand and increase access to French-language services in the justice system and I am thrilled to see it become a reality. The aim of this initiative is to encourage our jurists to practise in French for the benefit of Franco-Ontarians across the province.”
— Marie-France Lalonde, Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
“This centre will go a long way toward building a more responsive, accessible and modern justice system. It sends a strong message to Ontarians and all Canadians, that we value the inclusion of the French language in our legal system.”
— Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General of Ontario
“The Common Law Section of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law is very proud to make use of its particular expertise in establishing this one-of-a-kind continuing professional development centre. Thanks to the support of Ontario, pratiquO will provide continuing professional development for jurists and other justice system stakeholders – in French.”
— Alain Roussy, Director of pratiquO, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law
“The Law Society is delighted to see the development of focused French legal training for licensees through pratiquO, and we are very pleased to support this unique, new initiative. We look forward to an ongoing relationship with the University of Ottawa and pratiquO, in helping to make increased French legal training content available for licensees, while also better enabling them to meet their continuing professional development requirements.”
— Paul B. Schabas, Treasurer, Law Society of Upper Canada
- Ontario has invested $100,000 in the pratiquO pilot project.
- pratiquO responds to recommendations in the French Language Service Commissioner’s 2009 annual report and the Bench and Bar Advisory Committee’s Access to Justice in French report, calling on the government to improve access to legal services in French.
- The University of Ottawa is responsible for setting up the continuing professional development centre and managing the pilot phase from June 2017 to August 2018.
- pratiquO will provide monthly classroom or distance training sessions in French in various fields of law for the province’s Francophone and Francophile jurists, paralegals and non-jurists (e.g., police, probation officers, court clerks).
- This project, piloted by the Office of Francophone Affairs and the University of Ottawa, is supported by Canadian Heritage, Justice Canada, the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario.