Canada's System of Justice

This booklet provides a comprehensive overview of the Canadian legal system, including its origins, key principles, judicial structure, and the role of the public.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is a department of the government of Canada. Using the department’s website you can apply for citizenship or permanent resident status, learn about living in Canada, and access many helpful resources. The website is also available in English and French.


BC Newcomers' Guide
This publication provides practical information to help newcomers settle in BC. Topics include The First Few Days, Health Care and Education. While the guide does not focus on the legal system specifically, there is a chapter about the law. provides a service agency directory, fact sheets, forms, frequently asked questions, instructional videos and related website links - all on the topics of Employment Standards, Residential Tenancy, Family Law and Domestic Violence. Some resources are available in more than 10 languages.


Courts of BC
This website has videos that will teach you about British Columbia’s three courts: Provincial Court, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. You will learn how the courts work, the types of cases they hear and common legal terms. The website is only available in English.



Courtprep (Prepare for Court)
An interactive website that helps to prepare for court. It explains the justice system process, features an interactive virtual courtroom, and offers tips for witnesses. Available in English and French.


Supreme Court BC
This online help guide provides a range of information on British Columbia's Supreme Court. The site features introductory videos and provides self-help resources for Civil Matters, Family Law and Criminal Law. Key resources include: Civil Guidebooks, Legal Help and Information if You Represent Yourself, Court Tips for Parents, and more....


Courthouse Protocols
A courthouse is a traditional, formal environment which warrants a respectful, sensitive and serious attitude from the public. This document lists many of the directions that should be followed upon entering both a courthouse and a courtroom. 
This website provides a broad range of information about BC’s busiest court. Provincial court hears about 90% of criminal trials, and it has special divisions for youth court, family court, and Small Claims Court.

Small Claims Court
This website will teach you about Small Claims Court, where you may handle your own case for claims up to $25,000. You will see answers to common questions about the court and learn about what cases the court hears. 
This Ministry of Justice website provides a broad range of information about BC’s justice system. Most of the content currently focuses on criminal matters, but in time, family and civil information will also be added.

Your Human Rights in BC
This series of five videos – available in English, Mandarin and Punjabi - teaches immigrants about human rights in BC and Canada. Discrimination occurs when someone treats you differently based on your personal characteristics. In the videos, workshop participants get answers to their questions about discrimination and learn more about their human rights.


Alternatives to Going to Court
Some legal disputes can be solved more effectively, faster and cheaper outside the court. This guidebook gives an overview of alternatives to court, such as negotiation, mediation, neutral evaluation, and arbitration.

Dial-A-Law is a library of legal information available in audio and text form in English, Simplified Chinese and Punjabi. You can have the option of viewing text-based information or listening to audio recordings of the information on your computer or over the phone (604.687.4680; 1.800.565.5297). All the information is presented in a Question-and-Answer format.

PovNet provides online tools that facilitate communication, community and access to information around poverty-related issues in British Columbia and Canada. It works to collect relevant news and resources of use to advocates, community workers, marginalized communities and the general public.

Legal Services Society
The Legal Services Society’s website has a great deal of information on many legal topics. You can also find “self-help kits” to help you do some things yourself, like handling your own divorce.

Couldn’t find the right resource? Search Clicklaw.
Clicklaw is a website that features legal information and education from more than 24 public legal education contributors. The resources available through Clicklaw were designed to be used by the public and those helping the public access legal information. Clicklaw: Solve Problems. Find Help.

More Canadian Justice System Resources

Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act Rights Cards: Know Your Rights When Calling Police
The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act was meant to safeguard people who call 911 at the scene of an overdose. But it won't protect everyone. This resource provides more information on when an individual will be protected, and when they won't. More details
Private Security Rights Cards
These cards will help residents better understand their rights and what they can do when their rights have been violated by private security. More details
Sex Workers Rights Cards
This card explains how the VPD’s new Guidelines require officers to prioritize sex workers’ safety over the enforcement of the prostitution laws. The rights card advises sex workers that the POLICE SHOULD NOT harass, target, arrest or intimidate you for doing sex work. More details
Working With Your Legal Aid Lawyer
This fact sheet outlines client and lawyer roles and responsibilities, so each knows what to expect from the legal aid contract. It also explains what the lawyer’s time on the case includes, what the lawyer can’t do, change of lawyer requests, and where to find out about making a complaint. More details
"Yes in my Backyard" (YIMBY) Toolkit
This kit is intended for YIMBYs: people who understand the value of addressing homelessness, addictions, and mental illness in a proactive and positive way through safe and supportive housing, and who want to say “yes” to projects that help people get off the streets. More details
Justice Education Society Citizenship and Immigration Canada Welcome BC City of Vancouver