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

The Canada-Wide Analysis of Official Language Training Needs in the Area of Justice follows directly from the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008–2013: Acting for the Future, which provides an additional investment of $20 million over five years to enable the Department of Justice Canada to meet the training needs of justice stakeholders.

The purpose of this analysis, which was undertaken in September 2008 at the request of the Department of Justice Canada, was to help in directing efforts related to training activities toward the development of persons currently employed in the justice system and to help in training and recruiting young, bilingual Canadians interested in working in the area of justice.

It should be pointed out that this analysis primarily concerns training needs in criminal law.

The methodology used for this analysis includes:

The report on this analysis, submitted on March 31, 2009, provides the Department of Justice with valuable information and proposed strategies for consolidating previously undertaken training activities and tackling areas where needs were only partially met. The analysis reveals that despite a significant ability among judges, lawyers and notaries to communicate in both official languages, there are gaps among support staff in the justice system; this is especially the case for clerks, bailiffs, assistants and probation officers. The analysis stresses that for a court to be institutionally bilingual, a command of legal vocabulary in both languages is essential.

The analysis groups under three major types of training activities the 11 proposed strategies that aim to meet the training needs that it identifies. The proposed strategies are as follows:

Given the vast organizational structures in which the training activities are to be carried out and the inevitable methodological and pedagogical considerations, the analysis suggested the creation of a training advisory committee, the role of which would be to guide the Department's actions in its management strategy for this new investment. This committee, known as The Group of Wise, consists of a small number of people with proven expertise in training and applied knowledge of the institutional network.

The Group of Wise has already identified possibilities for facilitating the implementation of the new training initiative, stimulating current partnerships, as well as promoting and fostering the development of projects and activities to improve access to justice in both official languages.


Linda DuPont
Legal Counsel
Justice in Official Languages