Legal Resources

Find websites and materials written in plain language.

Stack of books illustration

Legal Information for Indigenous People

S.H.E.D. Society of Bella Coola

This booklet provides basic & accessible legal information for Indigenous people facing legal issues, incl. the justice systems, children & families, rights & protections, death & taxes, income security, and class actions. It explains how the laws can vary for people based on their Indigeneity.

Last reviewed July 2024
Thumbnail of the cover, with the title and a close up of the scales of justice.

Criminal Law Handbook for Self-Represented Accused

Canadian Judicial Council

A general reference for self-represented litigants appearing in Canadian courts. Includes SRL’s rights and responsibilities, first steps in your criminal case, bail, building your defence, legal research, court processes, jury, sentencing, and more. Also provides a list of Canadian and BC resources.

Last reviewed March 2024
Logo shows three fish forming a circle in the Pacific coast Indigenous art style, in black, teal, and white. To the right are the words “BC FIRST NATIONS” in black, above the much larger words “JUSTICE COUNCIL” in teal.

Gladue Services: Information for the Public

BC First Nations Justice Council

Explains Gladue rights and factors, and how to get a Gladue report via a service from the BC First Nations Justice Council.

Last reviewed March 2024
Thumbnail of the cover to the Arrest Handbook, with icons on the bottom including the scales of justice.

The Arrest Handbook

BC Civil Liberties Association

The police are responsible for enforcing the law. While they’re deserving of respect and assistance, they must also respect your legal rights. This booklet has important information about how you can expect the police to act, and how you can respond if you feel the police don’t act properly.

Last reviewed March 2024
Thumbnail of the cover with the title and the BC Civil Liberties Association logo.

Know Your Rights: Injunctions and Contempt of Court

BC Civil Liberties Association

Answers questions such as what is an injunction, what is contempt of court, and what are your rights when you go to court on this charge.

Last reviewed March 2024
Logo features the initials "JES" in green on the left and a grey scale of justice with the text "Justice Education Society" in a circular arrangement around it on the right.

Criminal Law: Before Trial (Supreme Court BC)

Supreme Court BC (Justice Education Society)

This site gives an overview of the adult criminal court process but does not cover every situation. The information relates to criminal trials in BC Supreme Courts and Provincial Courts. Includes rights of the accused, investigation and charges, bail hearing, disclosure, and pleading guilty.

Last reviewed March 2024
Logo features the initials "JES" in green on the left and a grey scale of justice with the text "Justice Education Society" in a circular arrangement around it on the right.

Criminal Law Guidebooks (Supreme Court BC)

Supreme Court BC (Justice Education Society)

This site has general information to help people with criminal matters in the BC Supreme Court. The guidebooks provide information you need to know before trial, about trial and sentencing, and jury duty. You can also find links to court forms.

Last reviewed March 2024
Thumbnail of the first page, with the title, text, and the Government of British Columbia logo.

Sentencing

Provincial Court of British Columbia

This fact sheet explains what a judge considers when sentencing in criminal court; what types of sentences can be given; and what a Pre-Sentence Report, Victim Impact Statement, and sentencing circle are.

Last reviewed March 2024
Yellow emblem featuring a detailed coat of arms with a lion and a unicorn flanking a shield.

Resources for Criminal Cases

Provincial Court of British Columbia

Resources for criminal cases include links for getting a lawyer or legal advice, information on criminal law, preparing for a criminal trial, links to pick lists (standardized wording for bail and sentence orders), links to the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, and information for victims of crime.

Last reviewed March 2024
Yellow emblem featuring a detailed coat of arms with a lion and a unicorn flanking a shield.

Picklists — Standardized Wording for Bail & Sentence Orders

Provincial Court of British Columbia

Pick lists are lists of standardized terms for court orders. They are stored in courtroom computers so a court clerk can use them to quickly and accurately capture the order a judge makes. When a judge decides to change the standard wording, a court clerk can edit the term accordingly.

Last reviewed March 2024