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 the following CLEO projects:
Here are links to CLEO's most recent research reports:
- A framework for Ontario: Introducing a working legal capability matrix (2016)
CLEO developed a working legal capability framework for the Ontario context, drawing on our online scan of legal capability research and on previous research linking health literacy and legal capability. The framework gives an overview of the knowledge, skills, and personal characteristics and circumstances an Ontarian would need to deal with legal problems effectively at various stages, and addresses common barriers marginalized people face when trying to deal with legal problems.
- Building an understanding of legal capability: An online scan of legal capability research (2016)
This report provides an overview of recent research on legal capability in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
- Public Legal Education and Information in Ontario: Learning from a Snapshot (2015)
This mapping report provides an overview of PLEI resources available in Ontario, through the lens of topic and subtopic, as well as audience, format, language, intended use, and information provider. A key goal of this project was to identify opportunities for improved collaboration and coordination among PLEI providers in the province.
- Don't smoke, Don't be poor, Read before signing: Linking health literacy and legal capability (2015)
This research provides an overview of health literacy information practices in Ontario to give PLEI organizations and related stakeholders information about effective health information practices that can be adapted to improve the accessibility, usefulness, and reach of public legal education and information.
- Evolving Legal Services Research Project: Literature Review (2013)
This report was prepared for CLEO by Dr. Melina Buckley as part of the planning phase of CLEO's Evolving Legal Services Research Project. The report contains a comprehensive review of relevant research and literature findings about the impact of PLEI on the procedural and substantive outcomes experienced by people who receive PLEI as part of the continuum of legal services.
- Public Legal Education and Information in Ontario Communities: Formats and Delivery Channels (2013)
This study was conducted to assess the effectiveness of formats and delivery channels in light of the ever-expanding opportunities for reaching people with legal information via the internet and other technologies.
For more information about CLEO's past research projects, visit the PLE Learning Exchange website.
CLEO currently has one research projects underway:
- Evolving Legal Services Research Project, Phase II
This three-year research project, implemented with case studies in Ontario and British Columbia, looks at when PLE programs are effective and provide individuals meaningful access to justice, particularly people who are low income or have other disadvantages. For more information, visit the Evolving Legal Services Research page.
CLEO has compiled an annotated bibliography of research relating to public legal education, with a focus on Ontario research. The goals of the database are 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.
Get involved with CLEO's research
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.