About us

Information about the CRT User Experience Study and the research team.

About the Study

We are independent academic researchers, based at Thompson Rivers University, who want to find out about the experiences that members of the public have had using the Civil Resolution Tribunal and the Solution Explorer. We are looking to discover if – and how – this system is helping give people better access to justice. We’re not connected to the Civil Resolution Tribunal or the BC government. The funding for this project comes from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

About Katie Sykes - Principal investigator

BA (Queen’s), JD (Toronto), LLM (Harvard), LLM (Dalhousie), PhD Candidate (Dalhousie)

I am the principal investigator on this research project, and an Associate Professor at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Faculty of Law, where I have been since 2013. My main area of research is animals and the law. I am also very interested in how innovation is changing the legal profession and the justice system. I teach a course at TRU law where students design legal apps for access to justice using Neota Logic software. I’ve supervised TRU law students in an externship with the Civil Resolution Tribunal, where the students learned how to create content for the Solution Explorer (and created new areas that are now part of the Solution Explorer). I am a member of the Law Society of British Columbia Futures Task Force. Before TRU I practiced law at Cleary Gottlieb in New York for six years, and studied at Harvard, Dalhousie, the University of Toronto and Queen’s University.

About Rebecca Dickson - research assistant

I am a research assistant on this project, and a second-year law student at Thompson Rivers University. Before attending law school, I studied neuroscience at Dalhousie. I also earned a certificate in science communication and leadership. This project has allowed me to apply my scientific communication and research experience to the legal field. Specifically, I have been ensuring that our research complies with Empirical Legal Research standards. I will also be leading the data analysis portion of our research.

About Candice foulkes - research assistant

I am a third-year student at TRU Law and am incredibly excited to be a part of Professor Sykes’ research assistant team for this project. My role has primarily been research-focused, and I have been conducting empirical research on online dispute resolution across different jurisdictions, as well as how user-centred legal design can impact user experiences within the justice system. I have been involved with previous TRU Law initiatives such as Pro Bono Students Canada and TRU’s annual Student Law Society Conference, which focused on how law is changing and what we can do to help users navigate our current system. I am especially interested in learning about new ways of enhancing access to justice and about how technology is helping to develop our legal system.

About marina landry - research assistant

I am a research assistant on this project, and a third-year law student at Thompson Rivers University. In my second year, I have taken the legal app design class with Professor Sykes, where I’ve learned the value of using technology in increasing access to justice. My legal training has sparked up a passion to discover ways to modernize the justice system, and make it more approachable to those who it’s meant to protect – the average Canadians. I am hoping to combine the skills and knowledge gained through my education in science and in law, and put them to work towards identifying problems, and initiating positive changes within the current justice system. My role on this project includes designing and managing the survey, and assisting in data analysis.

About sarah ewart - research assistant

Having worked in marketing and graphic design for many years after completing a Diploma in Communications from Camosun College, I have primarily been responsible for web/ graphic design and marketing/ participant recruitment for this study. I am a second-year law student at TRU and have a B.A. in Justice Studies from Royal Roads University. For 2 years before beginning school at TRU, I worked as a court clerk in BC Provincial court, which further developed an already present interest in access to justice. I am thrilled to be a part of this research team and look forward to seeing how our results can help improve justice in BC.