Public Guardian and Trustee Breakfast Series
This series of four breakfast seminars is designed to explain the role of the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) under various statutes and to provide direction regarding process to those dealing with the PGT. The content of the series is based on the CLE Public Guardian and Trustee Handbook, and is planned in conjunction with the book’s November 2003 update.
Session 1: January 13, 2004
Settling Minors’ Personal Injury/Family Compensation Act Claims
Session 2: January 20, 2004
Guardianship of Minors and Litigation Guardianship of Parties Under Legal Disability
Session 3: January 27, 2004
Session 4: February 3, 2004
Committeeship and Miscellaneous Issues Concerning Incapable Adults
For more information on this series and the Handbook, please visit www.cle.bc.ca or contact the CLE customer service department at 604.893.2121 or 1.800.663.0437.
The Law Foundation of British Columbia
“Developmental Disabilities and the Justice System”
The Board of Governors of the Law Foundation is meeting from November 20 to 22, 2003. At that meeting, a new Chair of the Foundation will be elected, replacing Don Silversides, QC of Prince Rupert, whose term has ended. The Law Foundation wishes to publicly thank Mr. Silversides and acknowledge his remarkable contribution to the Law Foundation of British Columbia over the past eight years.
Profiles of a Law Foundation Funded Program and Project
B.C. Civil Liberties Association
Founded in 1962, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) is the oldest active human rights and civil liberties organization in Canada. Its mandate is to promote, defend, sustain, and extend civil liberties and human rights in B.C.
It has a voluntary board of directors made up of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, including lawyers, academics, students, business people, and educators. The BCCLA board takes an active role in setting the policies and priorities of the organization at monthly board meetings and has active involvement in advocating civil liberties to government and private institutions, and before the courts. The board of directors is supported in its work by a small, professional staff that works with board members to achieve the BCCLA’s mandate. This is accomplished through casework, public education, research, law reform, and litigation.
The BCCLA’s casework and educational activities provide direct service to hundreds of people each year. It provides individuals and groups who have civil liberties related concerns with information, advice, and assistance. The BCCLA assists complainants by using moral suasion.
The BCCLA provides input to all levels of government on public policy when civil liberties are implicated. The BCCLA advocates for citizens’ freedoms by making submissions during public consultations or by putting forth issues on the public agenda. Its position papers on issues it considers are available at its Web site at www.bccla.org.
The BCCLA seeks to take legal action or intervene in precedent setting cases before the courts when all its efforts through moral suasion fail to convince the government or a group to respect civil liberties values. The BCCLA is involved in a range of litigation which is achieved through the considerable contribution of lawyers who donate their time and expertise pro bono to represent the BCCLA. It has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada, either as a principal litigant or as an intervener, nine times since 1998.
The Law Foundation has been providing core funding to the BCCLA since 1982. Its current grant is $134,000 per year.
B.C. Provincial Court Judges Association
The Foundation provided $58,750 to the B.C. Provincial Court Judges Association for a pilot project Informational Handouts for Self-Represented Litigants that was completed in 2003.
Under the leadership of His Honour Judge Takahashi, the Association produced four informational handouts, entitled “Court Etiquette”, “Trial Preparation and Note-Taking Skills”, “Basic Criminal Procedure” and “An Introduction to Legal Research and Resources.” The objective of the project was to produce informational handouts for self-represented litigants to assist them in their understanding of the above four topics. The material was made available to self-represented litigants in four provincial court houses in B.C. and also posted on the Provincial Court of B.C. Web site.
Project evaluators made recommendations on accessibility and distribution of the information that would be helpful for organizations interested in producing legal information for self-represented litigants in the future.
These articles were published in the December 2003 issue of BarTalk. © 2003 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.