Public access to current legislation online
Timothy E. McGee
A partnership between the Law Society, the Ministry of Attorney General, the Law Foundation and the Queen’s Printer has resulted in an agreement that ensures lawyers and all Canadians have free on-line access to the current statutes and regulations of BC.
For several years now, the Law Society has been encouraging the government to take the step that other provinces have already taken, and make current versions of legislation freely available on the internet. While the Queen’s Printer has been providing electronic access to current statutes and regulations, access has required a subscription to QPLegalEze. Significantly, under the new agreement, BC will be helping to ensure the public has access to legal information.
The inclusion of the current statutes and regulations of BC on the CanLII website will enhance the CanLII service and, when combined with the CanLII search engine, they will provide an important new legal information tool for lawyers and the public alike.
The mandate of the Law Society is to protect the public interest in the administration of justice. Ensuring free and easy access to the law is a critical part of this mandate. The Law Society is pleased to have been part of the team that worked in partnership to make this agreement a reality.
The challenges we face in ensuring better access to legal services in BC are many. This new development is an important step to meet those challenges.