So far, there are only two documents that really outline the history of PLE, or parts of it, in Canada: Roland Case’s On the Threshold which documents the beginnings of law-related education in Canada and Lois Gander’s Radical Promise of Public Legal Education in Canada which looks at how public legal education got started in this country.
However, there are a host of reports documenting specific PLE initiatives which help to tell the PLE story. There are also some specific artifacts with records of meetings or other key events.
Resources of Interest: History of PLE
Documents of interest: History of PLE
2001 Notes of a facilitated workshop between representatives of the Department of Justice Canada and representatives of PLE agencies to develop a vision for PLE. PLEI Notes 2001 Version 1
ACJNet: Electronic Publishing (1998) – San San Sy. This is one of the papers in the series on the components of ACJNet (Access to Justice Network). This paper focuses on the multi-faceted nature of electronic publishing and its possibilities within ACJNet.
ACJNet: Online Education (1997) – San San Sy. This is one of the papers in the series on the components of ACJNet (Access to Justice Network). Online education is described in the paper as one of the five stated goals of ACJNet. The hope was that this paper would provide the basis for ACJNet to engage in the design and delivery of online education.
ACJNet: Library Without Walls. This paper, written in 1997, focuses on one of the more prominent components of ACJNet: the Library without Walls. The Library without Walls (LWW) is one of the four components of ACJNet, the other three being the Virtual Community, Electronic Publishing and On-Line Education.
CFCJ News and Views summer 2003 Cross country snapshot, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice, Newsletter, Summer 2003.
On the threshold : Canadian law-related education. Roland Case. 1983. Legal Services Society of British Columbia.
Public Legal Education and Information Program Review (1997) – Federal Department of Justice.This document is a summary of the comments received during the telephone and in person interviews held with some 50 federal Department of Justice staff and over 70 Public Legal Education Information (“PLEI”) providers, intermediaries, and experts across Canada. This is not a preliminary report. This is a description of the categories of comments without an attempt to analyze them or draw conclusions.
Power to the People: The Legal Studies Program Pamphlet Collection, 1976-1995 – Kirsten Wurmann & Diane Rhyason (2004).
Links of Interest: History of PLE
History of the Legal Studies Program (Legal Resource Centre)
An essential aspect of documenting and preserving the history of public legal education is the archiving of its websites. The intention of the Internet Archive is to keep the intellectual content of web-based material available on a permanent basis. With the waybackmachine — a device that displays the Web as it looked on a given date — the Internet Archive literally offers a window on the past and allows people to access and use archived versions of stored websites.
To access the web presence of public legal education sites since 1996, simply enter the web address into the Internet Archive’s waybackmachine at http://web.archive.org/collections/web.html. For example: enter www.acjnet.org for archived versions of the Access to Justice Network since 1996; or enter www.plena.org for versions of the Public Legal Education Network of Alberta from 2000 onwards.