Document Type


Publication Date



“Virtual Justice: A complex portrait of Canadian self-represented litigant experiences with virtual hearings” is the result of a year-long project generously funded through a grant from the McLachlin Fund, with the goal of understanding the experiences of Canadian self-represented litigants (SRLs) with virtual hearings since the onset of the pandemic, when such processes began to dramatically increase and become much more common.

Using a survey and focus groups, we gathered data from many SRLs with experiences across jurisdictions and types of legal matter. The results reflect the fact that SRLs’ experiences with virtual hearings are, in fact, quite varied. Approximately 24% of the SRLs surveyed were satisfied with their virtual hearing experience, while 35% were dissatisfied, and 15% reported they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. This report dives into the demographics and specific contexts behind these numbers, and seeks to understand both the positive and negative engagements SRLs have had with virtual hearings, especially as these engagements can give insight into how courts and systems might improve virtual processes for the most vulnerable stakeholders. The report concludes with both recommendations for improvement, and suggestions for further research on this topic.