This is a golden opportunity to celebrate a noteworthy announcement by the Common Law Section of the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. Today marks the official launch of pratiquO, a brand-new centre that will provide continuing professional development in French for jurists, paralegals and other justice system workers so that they can meet the continuing professional development requirements of the Law Society of Upper Canada.
It’s an excellent opportunity to acquire new skills and in particular to pick up new tools that will help professionals deliver more active, proactive, high-quality service in French.
As part of my job, I have frequently reiterated the critical importance of training for anyone who provides services in the justice sector. Lawyers and paralegals are often the first point of contact, so it’s vital for them to be fully conversant with the language rights of Francophone litigants so that they can serve them properly. The Rouleau-LeVay and Thorburn reports both confirmed these essential principles.
Among the resources that the centre offers are lectures and workshops, online courses and the Juriblogue. The latter is the product of a partnership with jurisource.ca, a project of the Association des juristes d’expression française de l’Ontario (AJEFO).
The pratiquO lectures will facilitate access to continuing professional development in French and will be given by experts from many different fields of law. They will be accompanied by dynamic, interactive workshops on French legal writing and terminology.
The online courses will be available on pratiquO web portal (www.pratiquo.ca). It’s an excellent way to access training courses anytime anywhere.
Juriblogue will host a one-of-a-kind platform. Whether it’s legal commentary or current events in French, this new platform will also feature the latest news in the legal world and at the same time provide the opportunity to play an active part in analyzing and discussing topical issues with a view to supporting and especially promoting language rights in French.
I am particularly pleased to see that this new program will offer a range of resources for Ontario that will unquestionably provide better access to justice in French.
I salute the ongoing commitment of Professor Alain Roussy and his team, Interim Dean François Larocque and the involvement of the University of Ottawa, the Attorney General, the Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs and the Law Society of Upper Canada at all levels. I would also like to recognize the dedicated participation of the jurists who agreed to assist in this fine venture by lending their expertise to improve French-language services. When I look at all these admirable initiatives, I sincerely believe we are on the right track.