pratiquO Continuing Professional Development Centre
Enhancing access to justice in French
Ontario established the Legal Community Engagement Committee in fall 2014 to address difficulties with access to justice in French identified by the French Language Service Commissioner in his 2009 annual report and the 2012 Bench and Bar Advisory Committee's Access to Justice in French report. As a result, the committee identified an opportunity to increase continuing professional development in French for justice professionals such as lawyers, court officers and police officers.
The new professional development program pratiquO is one way Ontario is enhancing the delivery of and access to justice in French for Francophones in Ontario.
Training and instructional approach
To increase the number of French-language continuing professional development (CPD) courses in Ontario and reach a larger number of Francophone and Francophile jurists, pratiquO is offering online instruction. The expertise that the French-language common law program in the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law has in distance education will be harnessed to maximize the centre's effectiveness and outreach across the province.
In addition to the virtual component, classroom instruction will be provided by experts and instructors working with pratiquO. The courses will be available in various parts of the province. The lectures and workshops will also be recorded on video and will be added to the inventory of virtual courses developed exclusively for pratiquO's online portal, which will make them accessible provincewide.
A major challenge for Francophone and Francophile lawyers and paralegals practising common law in French is to maintain a high level of proficiency both in legal vocabulary and in written French in general. Legal writing will be a mainstay in the centre's programming. To help jurists access existing resources and maximize their effectiveness, partnerships have been formed with the Centre canadien de français juridique, the AJEFO and the Legal Writing Academy in the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law.
Juriblogue is a unique platform that will provide access to the latest news in the legal world and opportunities to take an active part in analyzing and discussing current topics, supporting and promoting the practice of law in French.