The Justice Education Society of BC maintains an online Legal Dictionary which includes specific terms for Employment Standards, Residential Tenancy, Family Law and Domestic Violence. In addition, Vancouver Commuity Collega maintains the multilingual LegalGlossary.ca, which enables users to search terms in English and see definitions in one of eight other languages.
What is an Advocate(PDF)
An advocate is someone who can help you speak up so that your needs are heard, your rights are understood and your problems are resolved. Advocates may be employed with a community organization, volunteer with an agency, or community members who want to provide assistance.
Free and Low Cost Lawyers(PDF)
You can access free legal help through the Legal Services Society (Legal Aid) and Access Pro Bono.
In Canada, human rights legislation makes sure that people have the right to live free from discrimination and harassment. It is against the law to discriminate against people. Everyone in Canada has human rights the moment they arrive. You don’t have to be a citizen and it does not matter where you are from. Laws in Canada and in British Columbia protect people from hateful speech, protect the right to political and religious beliefs and the right to be free from sexual harassment.
Charged with a Crime(PDF)
• If you were arrested, either the police or the court will give you a document.
• The document will tell you the crime you’ve been charged with, what kind of offence it is.
• The document will also provide the date, time, and place of your first court appearance.
• You should talk to a lawyer as soon as you know you’ve been charged
Talking to the Police(PDF)
Criminal laws make it illegal for someone to hurt or kill other people or to steal property from them. People who are accused of breaking criminal law may be arrested and taken to court. The federal government makes Criminal Law, called the Criminal Code of Canada. It is the same all across Canada.
Lawyers are trained to help you when everyday problems become legal issues. A lawyer can help you buy a home, write a will, or sell a business. A lawyer can also help you if you get injured, if you are getting a divorce, or if you are charged with a crime.
2012 Legal Information and Resources for Settlement Workers Training Conference:
On March 27-28th, 2012, a training conference for BC Settlement Workers was hosted and carried out by three organizations – the Law Foundation of BC, the Legal Services Society (LSS) and the Immigrant PLEI Consortium. The conference provided legal information on relevant topics, information about resources and services, and some information about best practices when clients have legal problems. Read more...
2010 Canadian Legal Values Conference Presentations:
Canadian Legal Values
Martha Lewis, Executive Director of the Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre, discusses Canadian legal values and social policies, penalties for breaking the law, and tips for clients and workers.
Legal Service Providers: Mandates & Programs:
Justice Education Society
Lali Pawa outlines the mandate and objectives of the Justice Education Society as well as one of their main programs called the Court Information program for immigrants (CIPI), which has helped over 60,000 immigrants speaking a wide range of languages access BC Courts.
Clicklaw and LawMatters
Drew Jackson discusses two initiatives: (1) the Clicklaw website, which provides legal information and education for the public from 24 contributor organizations; and (2) Law Matters, a program intended to enhance the collections of legal information in libraries across the province.
Drew Jackson discusses the PovNet website, which offers legal resources around anti-poverty issues, training courses for community workers and advocates, and email lists for community workers and advocates interested in engaging in an ongoing dialogue on anti-poverty issues with other like-minded individuals.
Saleem Spindari provides an overview of MultiLingoLegal.ca, an online multilingual legal resource designed to provide newcomers to Canada and community workers with comprehensive and critical legal information in 9 languages. The website represents a collaborative effort by the Latin American Community Council (LACC) and MOSAIC.
Access Pro Bono Society of BC
Jimmy Yan discusses the amalgamation of Access Justice – which provides free legal advisory services – and Pro Bono Law of BC – which provides free legal representation services. Together, as Access Pro Bono Society of BC, they are working towards the goal of fostering a justice system in which people with limited means can still obtain quality legal services.