11 July 2014

New Report on Legal Aid In British Columbia: Authors Argue Underfunding Breaches Human Rights Obligations

Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada has just released a draft report for public comment, "The Right to Legal Aid: How BC's Legal Aid System Fails to Comply with International Law" (PDF)Legal aid in British Columbia is administered by the Legal Services Society. The Legal Services Society is funded primarily by the provincial government; fund are also provided by the BC Law Foundation.

The authors of the new report argue that reductions in funding leave "even the most basic legal aid needs of British Columbians" unmet, with a disproportionate impact on women and marginalized groups, which ultimately undermines the "entire justice system." The authors also note that the inadequate funding of legal aid has social impacts that extend far beyond the justice system to affect the "social fabric of British Columbians and their economy."

Comment on this important report is open until 8 August 2014. Read the LRWC's statement on the new report. Read Ian Mulgrew's article on the new report from the Vancouver Sun.

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