Tips for assessing legal information
Resources on Your Legal Rights are produced by organizations from across Ontario. Our goal is to include high-quality materials but we don't guarantee that they are legally accurate.
Legal accuracy is an assessment made at a point in time. The reliability and accuracy of legal information depends on a number of factors. And laws, policies, and practices are constantly changing.
Below is a list of what we do to ensure that we have a high-quality collection of resources. Then there is a list of what you can do to assess the legal information you find on Your Legal Rights.
What we do
- Quality and Curation - When selecting resources for Your Legal Rights, we draw on the expertise of the Your Legal Rights staff team and advisory group and of the legal and editorial staff at CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario).
- We write a short, accurate description for each resource we add to Your Legal Rights and we check the description with the producing organization. We also include the format of each resource and the region it applies to. This will help you decide if the resource is what you are looking for.
- We make sure all resources fit our Content guidelines and Content policy.
- Currency - We include resources only if we are able to tell you the year they were produced. With online information this is not often obvious so we follow up with each organization to ensure we have this recorded correctly.
- When there are major changes in the law, we include this information in our News section and in the latest news headlines on our home page.
- Accountablity - We include the name, contact information, and a brief description of all producing organizations. If we cannot provide this, we will not include their legal information on our site.
- We have a process for reviewing and archiving resources. And every 2 years, we send an e-mail message to all producing organizations asking them to review their resources that are on Your Legal Rights and tell us about any changes or updates. We remove or archive a resource if we can't reach the producing organization.
- Jurisdiction - We only include legal information that is relevant or applies to people in Ontario. For example, if it is a resource or website from British Columbia we would only add it to Your Legal Rights if it applies to, or covers and area of law that has jurisdiction across Canada. Even then, we make sure to let you know in our description that it has been developed for people in another Province and that referral information may not apply.
If you have suggestions or comments about our approach, please contact us.
What you can do
- Look for information about the organization that produced the resource. You can click on any producing organization's name and see the information that Your Legal Rights has for that organization. There will be a description of the organization, a list of other resources the organization has produced, and a link to the organization's website.
- Any legal information you find online should be clear about who has produced it and make contact information available to users. Be wary of "free" legal information that is specifically tied to attending seminars or seeking the paid services of a law firm, real estate agency or Immigration consultant etc.
- Public legal education information is most helpful when it includes additional information or links for users to find help or take the next step in learning more. Try to assess if this additional referral information useful and up to date.
- Contact the organization and ask some questions about their resource. For example, ask if someone with legal training or experience wrote or reviewed it.
- Look at the year the resource was produced and find out if there have been major changes to the law since then. You can do this by:
- Contact us if you find out that a resource is out of date or not accurate.
(Last updated: November 13, 2013)