The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) is headed to the Supreme Court of Canada this April. The NSRLP has been awarded Intervenor Status to offer advice and argument in Pintea v Johns, a case that will look at the types of assistance a judge both may, and should, give to a self-represented litigant. An Intervenor is a party who is not directly involved in a legal dispute, but who represents the rights of non-parties and speaks on an issue of the case that is not provided by either the defendant or plaintiff. An Intervenor provides expert perspective for court decisions that may impact the rights of the general public or groups of people; in this case, self-represented litigants.
The NSRLP works to promote dialogue and collaboration among all those affected by the self-represented litigant phenomenon, both justice system professionals and litigants themselves, regularly publishing resources designed specifically for SRLs, as well as research reports that examine the implications for the justice system.
The NSRLP applied for Intervenor Status in February, and was accepted by the SCC this week. Pintea v. Johns will be an important milestone in caselaw related to self-representation, and the case will provide important exposure for the NSRLP specifically, and the plight of SRLs generally. The NSRLP’s successful application was drafted pro bono by Mr. Ranjan Agarwal, of Bennett Jones law firm. Mr. Agarwal will also speak on behalf of the NSRLP before the Supreme Court.