The CLEO Centre for Research & Innovation conducts research and initiates projects to help build the capacity of the community sector to reach marginalized communities with effective legal information. The Centre is a pilot project established in 2010 with funding from the Law Foundation of Ontario.
The Centre supports the work of two of CLEO’s flagship projects:
The Centre also supports the work of CLEO's most recent project, the Public Legal Education (PLE) Learning Exchange.
The Centre currently has three research projects underway:
Evolving Legal Services and Access to Justice: Using legal information effectively in a changing world (Phase 1)
With governments facing fiscal challenges to funding of programs and services, there is an increased reliance on PLE and other limited assistance services as a less costly way to help low- and middle-income Canadians address their legal issues. To ensure that resources are spent wisely, it is important to know when these PLE programs are effective and provide meaningful access to justice to individuals, particularly those who are low income or have other disadvantages. This is the key question of this research, which will be implemented with case studies in Ontario and British Columbia.
Mapping PLE in Ontario
CLEO is working on a project to map public legal education and information (PLEI) resources available for the public and community groups in Ontario. The mapping report will be useful for PLEI organizations and funders to assist them in identifying gaps and overlaps in PLEI information in Ontario.
Health information practices
We are conducting research that will provide an overview of health information practices in Ontario and other jurisdictions, along with an identification of parallels and promising practices that are relevant to public legal education and information. The purpose of the research is provide PLEI organizations and related stakeholders with information about effective health information practices that can be adapted to improve the accessibility, usefulness and reach of public legal education and information.
Searchable database of public legal education (PLE) research:
In partnership with Ryerson's Law Research Centre, CLEO has compiled an annotated bibliography of research relating to public legal education, with a focus on Ontario research. The goal of the database is to illuminate gaps and issues in existing literature, provide a context for future research relating to PLE, and make research findings available to legal and community workers who provide PLE. The database is available on the PLE Learning Exchange.
CLEO invites community organizations to provide input into our ongoing projects and research and to suggest possible new initiatives.
For more information about the Centre’s work, contact Julie Mathews, CLEO’s Executive Director.