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This report provides an inventory of direct-to-public digital legal tools that are now available in Canada. A total of 92 tools are listed in the chart that can be found at the end of this document.
Below is a brief explanation of how the inventory was created and a discussion of some limitations and qualifications. Several key observations are also outlined.
What is included in this inventory?
This inventory updates previous versions prepared in 2016 and 2019.1 When deciding whether to include a tool in the inventory several criteria were applied:
• Both mobile and web-based tools were included;
• The tools listed here are described as “direct-to-public” tools as opposed to “direct-to-consumer” tools as the inventory includes both tools provided by private (often commercial) actors and those provided by public/not-for-profit actors;
• To meet the definition of “digital tool”, a resource needed to be interactive beyond displaying information or allowing for the keyword searching of legal information displayed on a website. Legal information websites can be important resources for the public but were outside the scope of this review;
• The term “legal” was used expansively. To be included, a tool did not have to provide a “legal service” (as that term is understood in a regulatory sense). If a tool could be reasonably characterized as purporting to assist an individual in any way with a legal need or a “justice problem”, then that tool was included;
• The inventory was restricted to digital tools intended for direct use by the public. Tools meant for use by primarily lawyers, other subsets of professionals or very specific types of businesses were not included;
• A decision was made not to include digital tools that are embedded within, or otherwise part of, the justice system itself. As such, online administrative tribunals are not included in the list.5 Also not included are online dispute resolution systems, interactive court forms or guided pathways provided directly by courts or other government or administrative entities; and
• Only those tools that were currently available for use were included. Tools that were either discontinued or in beta were not included.https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/sites/techlaw.uottawa.ca/files/dtp_digital_legal_tools_report_for_posting_july_15_2021.pdf
This content has been updated on 09/07/2021 at 14 h 22 min.