I have the privilege this summer of working with renowned TRU Law professor Katie Sykes and a talented team of TRU law students (shoutout to Marina, Becca and Sarah!) on a project involving the Civil Resolution Tribunal. The CRT is an online dispute resolution platform that has been integrated into BC’s court system and strives to help provide better access to justice for our province’s community. We are working on this project as academic researchers, independent from both the CRT and the Ministry of Justice.
It’s a fascinating initiative, and our project is primarily focused on determining what sort of experience people have had when using the CRT, as well as investigating how legal stakeholders (lawyers, judges, frontline workers, etc) feel about the CRT and its expanding jurisdiction through a combination of anonymous survey questionnaires and interviews. In this way, we can measure user experiences of the CRT and gather valuable feedback.
I have also been researching how other legal projects from around the world have been utilizing online dispute resolution, and what sort of implications their findings might have on improving the CRT and other Canadian undertakings like it. I’ve found that there’s a remarkable wealth of literature from a number of different countries on various pilot projects and other ODR software, and it’s exciting to be a part of something so revolutionary (and long overdue!).
The survey – which is currently in beta testing – will likely be coming out later this month, at which point we will be looking for people who are willing to share their experiences with us. If you’re interested in participating in our survey, you can reach out to me or Professor Sykes and we would be happy (and grateful) to provide you with a link to the anonymous survey once it’s available.