YOUR PRIMER ON ALL THINGS LEGAL AID Legal aid, law reform and access to justice are very much on the public mind these days. To assist the public and media in researching these important issues, the Legal Aid Committee of the British Columbia Branch of The Canadian Bar Association (CBABC) has collected the following information, research and other resources.
Need Legal Aid There are certain issues that can be problematic without legal advice from a lawyer and you may avoid future difficulties if you obtain initial advice from a lawyer. There are a number of low cost and free legal services available to the public in British Columbia.
There are a number of cases that consider when a judge can order that the government pay for a lawyer. As a general rule, there is no right to state funded counsel, but in particular circumstances, supported by evidence, orders for state funded counsel can be made. A few of the cases that consider these circumstances are described in this section.
History of Legal Aid This section attempts to put the current situation of legal aid in British Columbia in a historical context.
The topic of legal aid is often in the media. This section contains recent articles from media outlets in British Columbia.
Reports, Research and Papers
Research into legal aid and various reports that have been key to British Columbia are included in this section.
Why Legal Aid Matters The Public Commission on Legal Aid’s report Foundation for Change made nine recommendations, one of which is that legal aid should be recognized as an essential public service. The Commissioner also asserts a strong link between Legal Aid and other existing essential services.
Below are a number of videos exploring the idea of Why Legal Aid Matters:
Public Opinion of Legal Aid in British Columbia - September 10, 2011
Pedestrians and cyclists on the streets of Vancouver were asked to briefly stop
and discuss three questions about legal aid in British Columbia:
1. What are your general thoughts about legal aid in British Columbia?
2. Should legal aid be considered an essential service in British Columbia?
3. Do you think legal aid in British Columbia is an investment in justice?
Legal Aid in British Columbia is discussed not as an expense but as an investment in justice.
Why Legal Aid Matters: Legal Aid as an Essential Service