08 September 2013

How to Link to the Rules of Court and the Family Law Act on the BC Laws Website

The BC Laws website, run by the provincial Queen's Printer, and the CanLII website, run by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada, are the two best resources for finding British Columbia legislation online. I personally find the CanLII website a bit cluttered and messy to use and print from, although the beta version of the new website improves things a great deal, but CanLII will let you like to point-in-time historic versions of legislation and keeps copies of old statutes, like the Family Relations Act. Although the BC Laws website is somewhat easier to access and print from, it only provides access to current legislation.

Assuming that you're using the BC Laws website, you may bump into a problem because of their decision to post the Family Law Act, the Supreme Court Family Rules and the Provincial Court Family Rules broken up into parts; CanLII has regrettably followed BC Laws' lead. Here's how you can create reliable links to the new act and the rules of court.

Family Law Act

If you cut-and-paste the address for s. 81 of the Family Law Act from the BC Laws website, this is what you'll get:
However, you can get the same result with this much shorter link:
The trick here is to know which part the section you want to link to is found and adjust the link address accordingly. The first part, "www.bclaws.ca/ EPLibraries/ bclaws_new/ document/ID/ freeside/11025_" is stable for all links to the act. The part you adjust is the last bit, "05#section81".

In this example, "05#section81" means part 5, section 81. If you wanted to link to s. 211 on needs of the child assessments, because s. 211 is in part 10 you would link to:
Likewise, to link to s. 15, which you'll find in part 2, the address you would use is:
Supreme Court Family Rules

The same basic idea applies for links to the Supreme Court Family Rules. If you cut-and-paste the address of SCFR 15-2.1(1) on the affidavits required for guardianship applications, this is what you'll get:
Ick. However, you can get the same result with this shorter link:
The first part, "www.bclaws.ca/ EPLibraries/ bclaws_new/ document/ID/ freeside/169_2009_", stays the same for all links to the SCFR. What changes is the last bit, "03#rule15-2.1subrule1". In this example "#rule15-2.1subrule1" means SCFR 15-2.1 and subrule (1) of that rule. Explaining the "03" is a little more complicated. BC Laws has published the SCFR in six bundles:
  1. Parts 1 to 9;
  2. Parts 10 to 14;
  3. Parts 15 to 23;
  4. Appendix A (court forms);
  5. Appendix B (costs awards); and,
  6. Appendix C (fees payable to the court and witnesses).
The "03", you see, comes from SCFR 15-2.1 being in the third bundle. Get it?

To take another example, if you wanted to link to SCFR 4-3 about when a reply to a Notice of Family Claim is due, you would use this link:
The last part, "01#rule4-3", refers to SCFR 4-3 which is found in the first bundle. If you wanted to get fancy and link to SCFR 4-3(2) specifically, you'd add "subrule2" to the end of the address:
Similary, to link to SCFR 11-3 on summary trials, because that rule is in the second bundle you'd link to:
Provincial Court Family Rules 

The Provincial Court Family Rules are simpler because it is published in only two bundles; the complete rules are in the first bundle and the court forms are in the second bundle. The address of the PCFR is:
To link to a specific rule, turn "00" into "01", for the first bundle, and add "#rule" plus the number of the rule you want to link to. For example, to link to PCFR 7 on family case conferences you would use this address:
To link to PCFR 13(3) on the use of affidavits at hearings or trials, you'd use this address:
Wasn't that easy?