The Self-Represented Litigants Case Law Database Project (the “CLD” Project) is a research initiative of the National-Self-Represented Litigants Project and as such, an extension of Director Julie Macfarlane’s original 2013 Study on Self-Represented Litigants (“SRLs”). The CLD tracks emerging jurisprudence across Canada which affects SRLs. The development of the CLD was driven by the fact that no other organization in Canada was systematically tracking and analyzing case decisions on SRLs. To date, NSRLP researchers have identified more than 600 important cases that fall within our parameters (below) and over 360 Canadian decisions have been analyzed and entered into the database. As the database builds, it is possible to see trends emerging from the data.
When a judge determines that a litigant’s behavior has abused the court’s processes, the litigant is designated as “vexatious”, and consequently barred from accessing the court. Courts are given the authority to designate a litigant as vexatious by using their respective rules of court, legislation, or by common law. Although not completely uniform, the elements required to find a litigant vexatious are similar across in Canada. The CLD examines those cases in which a vexatious designation has been applied to a litigant who is an SRL, or where there is other discussion of an SRL’s behaviour in terms that suggest vexatiousness, but without a formal designation as such (see “vexatiousness lite” below at section 4.