Canada-Wide Analysis of Official Language Training Needs in the Area of Justice

3.0 Methodology

This needs analysis looks at each of the four components of the Roadmap, including the coordination mechanism that is best able to support the effective application of this component. The methodology used for this study includes: a literature review, a document review, an analysis of socioprofessional data taken from the Census, interviews with key stakeholders across the country, field case studies in four provinces, and a panel of experts. Together these sources help address the predetermined research issues. Appendix B presents the research issues investigated during this study and the indicators and data sources used to address them.

3.1 Literature review

A review was undertaken of the literature on the division of powers, roles and responsibilities relating to the administration of justice in both official languages. This review covered court decisions right up to the present date as well as the applicable doctrinal texts. Particular emphasis was placed on other issues relevant to this study: the range of stakeholders concerned, the nature of their duties, official language obligations, and so on.

3.2 Document review

The purpose of the document review was to illustrate the organization of stakeholders in the area of justice and to identify the training programs available to them (basic training and continuing education).

3.3 Analysis of socioprofessional data

This analysis looked at socioprofessional data taken from the 2006 Census of Statistics Canada. The purpose was to establish the language profile and the evolution of careers in justice. The data are taken from two data series:

  • The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) gave us an idea of the work environment of Canadians. Specifically, series 5411 covers Legal Services and includes law firms, notary offices (in Quebec only), while series 91 covers Public Administration, including law courts, correctional services, and federal, provincial and municipal police services.
  • The National Occupational Classification for Statistics (NOC-S) gave us an idea of their jobs. Series B317 covers Court Officers and Justices of the Peace (administrator, clerk, justice of the peace, court officer), series B543 covers Court Clerks, series E011 covers Judges, series E012 covers Lawyers and series G611 covers Police Officers.

The data were analysed by court services occupations based on NOC-S 2006.[17] For each occupation we prepared a brief description, followed by a data analysis for all of Canada and for each province and territory based on language variables, age, level of education and industry. This was followed by a comparative analysis of occupations for Quebec and for the rest of Canada, and according to age pattern.

It is important to note that all data used in this analysis, incorporated into the findings of this report and pertaining to the 2006 Census were produced by Statistics Canada (Statistics Canada, special compilation, Census of 2006, EO1340). This information is used with the permission of Statistics Canada. Users are forbidden to copy the data and redisseminate them, in an original or modified form, for commercial purposes, without the expressed permission of Statistics Canada. Information on the availability of the wide range of data from Statistics Canada can be obtained from Statistics Canada's Regional Offices, its Web site at http://www.statcan.gc.ca, and its toll-free access number 1-800-263-1136.

Also, the tables included in this report use the letter symbols of the provinces rather than their abbreviations. Although some of these letter symbols are inspired by the province's English name, they are recognized and accepted in French text. [18]

3.4 Interviews

For all in-person interviews and case studies, the sampling of most key stakeholders was by region (Western and Northern Canada, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic Provinces). The interviews conducted in provinces and territories not covered by the case studies targeted various key stakeholders who play a role in access to justice in both official languages. The Department of Justice provided contact information for individuals in each province and territory. We contacted these individuals and explained our approach to them, and then to the stakeholders to whom they referred us.

Court administrators are a distinct category in that their role is to manage and coordinate numerous other stakeholders. Since it was difficult to reach all stakeholder categories for this study, we concentrated on court administrators, who provided information on a wide range of scenarios involving various stakeholders, such as court services officers, clerks, bailiffs, and so on. For training institutions, we chose the main ones that offer courses of study leading to careers in justice.

In the jurisdictions involved in the case studies, all interviews were set up, organized and approached in the same way, but were reported and analysed separately (see section 3.5).

Table 3 shows the total number of interviews conducted.

Table 3: Categories of key stakeholders
Key stakeholders Distribution Number of individuals consulted
Lawyers Federation of Associations of French-speaking Jurists and the executives of these associations 8
Departments of Justice or Attorney General of each province and territory Court services 14
Court administrators 12
Prosecutors 7
Probation services 4
Postsecondary institutions University of Ottawa 3
Laurentian University 1
Université de Moncton 1
McGill University 1
Cité collégiale 2
Collège Boréal 1
Collège communautaire du N.-B. 1
John Abbott College 1
Jurilinguistic centres University of Ottawa 4
Collège St-Boniface
Université de Moncton
McGill University

We developed an interview guide for each stakeholder category. These guides can be found in Appendix C of this report.

3.5 Case studies

Four case studies were conducted. First, they were used to establish the profile of each of the jurisdictions studied (the judicial process, the various forms of communication between the judicial system and citizens, the strategy for offering minority language services). They were also used to illustrate some of the operational challenges of delivering services in both official languages in the court system of each jurisdiction. Finally, they identified the main official language training needs in the area of justice that have not yet been met in these regions. The four cases were chosen in close cooperation with the Department of Justice, making sure to include various scenarios to illustrate the nature and frequency of contact points between citizens and the court system, and the type of organizational capability needed in order to provide services in both official languages. One case study was of Quebec, where services are provided to the English minority community, and the other three were of Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia, where it is the French minority community that receives these services.

As with the stakeholder interviews in the other provinces and territories, the case study interviews targeted a range of key stakeholders who play a role in access to justice in both official languages. The Department of Justice provided contact information for individuals in each of the four provinces. We contacted the administrators and other stakeholders concerned to explain our approach and schedule a field visit. We then made a field visit to each jurisdiction, gathering information from the key stakeholders. When stakeholders were unavailable at the time of the field visit, we followed up with a telephone interview. The Ontario case study was conducted differently from the other three, since a similar needs analysis was already under way in that province. The results of that study were shared with us, and we supplemented that information with several telephone interviews. The same interview guides developed for use in the other provinces and territories were used in the case study interviews. In several instances, the information we gathered was supplemented by documentation provided by various stakeholders.

Table 4 shows the total number of interviews conducted within the scope of the case studies.

Table 4: Categories of key stakeholders
Key stakeholders Distribution Number of individuals consulted
Legal Aid Services   6
Departments of Justice or Attorney General of each province and territory Court services 5
Court administrators 8
Prosecutors 5
Probation services 4
Judges   8

3.5.1 Panel of experts

After the data were analysed, a panel of experts was asked to validate the preliminary findings and proposed solutions. These experts were individuals with either a comprehensive view or an inside view of some aspect of the issue. A preliminary list of ten experts was submitted to the Department of Justice for approval and, in view of the time constraint, the recommendation that this panel convene by teleconference rather than travel to attend a meeting in person was approved. A guide summarizing the proposed solutions was distributed to the experts several days before the teleconference. Four experts agreed to participate; three actually did participate, while the fourth provided written feedback.


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