The Solution Explorer is a guided pathway tool adopted by the Canadian Civil Resolution Tribunal (CRT). The tool provides free information on parties’ rights, courses of action and facilitates dispute resolution. It also explicitly states at the outset that it does not provide legal advice. It offers free information using multiple guided pathways on areas of law including: vehicle accidents and injuries; goods and services; housing; loans and debts; construction; employment; insurance; property; personal injury and strata. The tool may even indicate the CRT can be used in which case the user can apply directly to the CRT using the Solution Explorer.
The Solution Explorer asks the user a series of questions that change depending on a person’s problem or dispute. The user is then guided down a pathway to very detailed and specific information depending on the answers the user gives to the tool. For example, in a residential tenancy dispute, if a user is a tenant in rented accommodation and has been served with an eviction notice, the tool can guide them to whether they can apply to cancel the eviction.
The summary provided at the end then details how to go about disputing the notice.
The tool essentially provides problem diagnosis, information, self-help options and signposting [Capturing Technological Innovation In Legal Services, 2017 p.62]. In some cases, the tool may identify the need for more support or immediate action such as applying to cancel an eviction notice before the user can no longer dispute it [Capturing Technological Innovation In Legal Services, 2017 p.62].
A key advantage of this tool is that it can provide very detailed and useful information on a particular topic. The user then has a greater understanding of how to proceed with a legal issue increasing the likelihood it will be solved quickly and with less cost.
The focused information the Solution Explorer provides has been harnessed across a broad spectrum of the law by utilising multiple guided pathways. In this way guided pathways have been used to reach a very wide audience and therefore enhance access to justice for Canadians by providing information on different legal issues.
1. British Columbia, ‘Solution Explorer’ (2020) https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies/solution-explorer (Date Accessed: 02/06/2020)
2. Civil Resolution Tribunal, ‘Small Claims’ (2020) https://civilresolutionbc.ca/how-the-crt-works/getting-started/small-claims-solution-explorer/ (Date Accessed: 02/06/2020)
3. The Law Society of England and Wales, Capturing Technological Innovation in Legal Services (2017)