A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a new column in the Ottawa Citizen to be authored by members of a local defence firm: Lack of Knowledge is Bad, Imperfect Knowledge may be Worse. While I applauded the idea - to educate people on their right and obligations under the law - I queried whether that goal could actually be achieved in that form and with that perspective (and perhaps I pointed out how it might not have been achieved).
I recently became aware, thanks to one of my readers, of a new site launched by Legal Aid Ontario: LawFacts.ca. The site indicates that it "provides information, written in plain language, on bail, guilty pleas, peace bonds, types of sentences and more. It also provides examples of commonly-used forms, checklists to prepare for going to court and contacting LAO...".
I have visited the website. It has succeeded in its goal. The site is user friendly. It is informative. It is refreshing to see people working toward the goal of educating the public and making information about the criminal justice system accessible and easy to understand. While the site is aimed at assisting those charged with criminal offences, as anyone who works in the criminal justice system will appreciate, this site will go a long way in helping all of us who are involved in the criminal justice system.
As reported in a press release, the Legal Aid Ontario webiste received more than 770,000 last year. Undoubtedly that number will drastically increase with the launch of this new and very informative website. Great work!