Guidelines for Canadian Court Web Sites

When Dominic Jaar became the CEO of the Canadian Centre for Court Technology, he immediately set out to constitute several “IntellAction” working groups. One of these groups had the mandate to promote the modernization of court web sites in Canada by way of producing guidelines on topic.

Dominic knew this was an area of strong interest to me, so he asked me to lead the group. We built the membership last September to include fair representation from the judiciary, lawyers in private and public sector practice, the Courts Administration Service, a few other areas and a journalist to represent the interests of the Canadian public. The following are members of this working group (in alphabetical order):

  • Louis-Vincent d’Auteuil (Military Judge)
  • Alexandre-Philippe Avard (private practice, civil litigation, Woods, Québec)
  • Michelle Blanc (Internet Marketing Strategist)
  • Yves Boisvert (Columnist, La Presse)
  • Patrick Cormier (Government 2.0 Think Tank Inc., President)
  • Simon Fodden (Law Profesor Osgoode Hall Law School and slaw Founder)
  • Louise Hamel (Manager, Judge’s Library, Ontario)
  • Dominic Jaar (ex officio member, CCCT CEO)
  • Olivier Jaar (ex officio member, CCCT coordinator)
  • Pierre-Paul Lemyre (Business & Product Development, LexUM)
  • Steve Matthews (Law Librarian & Founder of Stem Legal)
  • Yves-Marie Morissette (Judge, Court of Appeal for Quebec)
  • John McMunagle (private practice, criminal defense lawyer, Ontario)
  • Raphael Papiccio (law student, University of Ottawa)
  • Thomas Quine (Manager, Online Communications and Publications, Transparency International)
  • Jean-Philippe Ricard (Programmer-Analyst, LexUM)
  • Alan Ritchie (Courts Administration Service)
  • Chris Walpole (IT Director, Government of Ontario)
  • David G. Williams (Judicial Information Technology Office, Courts of Ontario)

In the coming weeks, I will share here on slaw some of our findings, ideas and questions; we welcome any and all suggestions and comments. For the moment I’ll just give you a preview into the major headings of our guidelines:

  1. Context It’s a Brave New World: Features & Characteristics of Modern, Forward-Looking and Interactive Web Sites
  2. Issues Some Complexities Underlying Court Web Sites
  3. Principles Cutting Through Context and Issues: What Principles Should Guide the Design of Court Web Sites?
  4. Guidelines Applying Principles to Design: What You Need to Know
  5. Tools Need Help in Following the Guidelines: What You May Want to Use

Looking forward to the online conversation.

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