Providing funding

Access to Justice BC

Access to Justice BC (A2JBC) was formed in 2015 as the province’s response to a national call for action to make family and civil justice more accessible. A2JBC has adopted a Framework for Action that seeks to improve the justice system by fostering action and approaching issues from the user's perspective.

The committee is chaired by the Honourable Chief Justice Robert J. Bauman and brings together leaders from government, the judiciary, the legal profession and related sectors such as health and municipalities. The broad membership fosters a multi-disciplinary approach to improving access to justice. President Herman Van Ommen, QC and Tim McGee, QC, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Law Society, are members of the committee.

In December 2016, the Law Society and the Law Foundation announced a joint three year funding and support arrangement for A2JBC. Under the terms of the arrangement the Law Society and the Law Foundation will each contribute $150,000 over three years to enable A2JBC to continue its innovative work.

For the latest updates, visit the Access to Justice BC website.

The Law Foundation and the children's lawyer initiative

The Law Society provides funding, paid by a portion of lawyers' fees, to the Law Foundation of BC to support pro bono services and access to justice programs. The Law Society’s contribution in 2016 is $340,000, of which $60,000 goes into an access to justice fund.

For 2016, the fund was directed to a two-year pilot project to create a children’s lawyer office in BC that will provide direct legal services to children and youth in areas such as family law and child protection law. While each parent often has a lawyer defending his or her interests, the child typically has no legal representation. The project is meant to address this gap in the province’s justice system. For details, visit the Law Foundation of BC’s website.

CanLII and Courthouse Libraries BC

A portion of lawyer's fees are directed to support The Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) and the Courthouse Libraries. Both organizations provide free legal information to the public.

 

Other collaborations

Justice Summit

The Justice Summit is a forum for discussion between justice sector leaders about how the system is performing and how it can be improved. It is held at least once a year by invitation of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Tim McGee, QC, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Law Society, attends each year to participate in the conversation and has acted as moderator at previous summits. For more information on Justice Summits, visit the Justice and Public Safety Council’s website.