Access to Justice Week BC

February 5 to 9, 2024

Access to Justice Week is an opportunity to engage with the access to justice movement that is taking place in BC and beyond.

This is a week devoted to considering how to improve the justice system by putting its users at the centre of decisions and processes. During this week, law students and legal professionals organize events to look more deeply at how to do this in the environments that surround them.

This year, we explore the question, “What does people-centered justice look like?”

People-centred justice is a paradigm shift that places diverse community members and their needs at the forefront of the legal system, emphasizing a holistic, culturally aware and trauma informed approach. This approach fosters inclusivity and accessibility through designing and tailoring legal processes and services to meet unique individual, group and societal circumstances.

This approach:

  • Facilitates faster and less expensive resolution of legal problems through improving available technology and access points.
  • Empowers individuals to actively participate in resolution processes through promoting legal literacy, skill-building, early intervention, and alternative dispute resolution.
  • Ensures equitable access to legal aid for individuals who may face economic, social or other barriers, which enables them to assert their rights, address grievances, and put their positions forward effectively in legal proceedings.

During Access to Justice Week BC, we will reflect on people-centered justice as a framework that prioritizes the well-being and dignity of all and enhances public trust in the legal system.


Make sure you register for the week's events!

You can also check out the websites of partner organizations, which provide access to justice information and educational opportunities throughout the year:

Canadian Bar Association of British Columbia

Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia

Courthouse Libraries of British Columbia

UVic Access to Justice Centre for Excellence 

Youth Leaders in Law


Author discussion of Indictment: The Criminal Justice System on Trial

Virtual session from 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Intended audience: Law students

Speaker: Benjamin Perrin, UBC Allard Law Professor 

Join the TRU Law A2J Club to hear about Professor Perrin's recent contribution to exploring the intricacies of the criminal justice system, which is based on first-hand interviews with survivors, people who have committed offences, and others on the frontlines and what his conclusions from this journey have been.

Location: Virtual link will be available upon request.


The Intersection between Restorative Justice and Person-Centered Justice

In-person session from 11:00am to 12:00pm

Intended audience: Law students

Speaker: Dr. Alana Abramson, KPU Criminology Instructor, Trainer & Consultant

Join the TRU Law A2J Club for this presentation discussing the differences between restorative justice and Indigenous-led justice, transformative justice as well as contrasting it with rehabilitation and punishment.

Location: OM3772, Old Main Building, TRU Campus

*Virtual link is also available upon request

Bridging the gap:  Access to Justice by Van and Boat

Zoom Webinar from 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Intended audience:  Legal community


Ab Currie, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow, Canadian Forum on Civil Justice

Anne Fletcher, Founder and Legal Advocate, Bella Coola Legal Advocacy Program

Moderated by: Lindsay Frame, CBABC Access to Justice Committee / Litigation Associate, McCarthy Tetrault

Person-centred justice includes meeting people and populations where they are – literally! In rural and remote locations, access to a professional who can provide situation-specific legal information and advice can be difficult to come by and often leads to the development, continuation and exacerbation of legal and law related problems.

Join this session to hear first hand about the creation and impact of the WellCoMs Mobile Van initiative in Guelph and Wellington County, Ontario, and the Making Waves initiative in and around Bella Coola, BC.

Register here:

*This webinar qualifies for 1 hour of CPD.

Finding justice: Challenges and opportunities in BC's legal aid landscape

Zoom Webinar from 4:30pm to 6:30pm

Intended audience: Legal community


Aleem Bharmal, KC, Community Legal Assistance Society

Michael Bryant, CEO, Legal Aid BC

Wendy Jackson, Executive Director of Legal Access Policy Division, Ministry of Attorney General

Amanda Carling, CEO, BC First Nations Justice Council

Moderator: Lee Nevens, First Vice President, Canadian Bar Association - BC Branch

Many British Columbians continue to face barriers to accessing legal aid, especially in family law. Our panelists will discuss the current challenges and opportunities in family and civil legal aid in BC.

Register here:

*This webinar qualifies for 2 hours of CPD.


Legal Education and Professional Competencies: What the Access to Justice Lawyer Needs to Know

In-person from 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Intended audience: Legal community


Hon. Associate Chief Justice Susan Wishart, BC Provincial Court

Robert Lapper, KC, UVic Law Professor and Lam Chair in Law & Public Administration

Chris Heslinga, Director, UVic Law Centre

Location: UVic Law, Room 158

The Access to Justice Centre for Excellence and UVic Access to Justice Club are hosting this panel discussion which promises to be an engaging and thought-provoking conversation on the current state of the access to justice crisis, the core professional competencies that law students and aspiring access to justice lawyers should aim to develop, and the role of the law school in helping them prepare for future access to justice work.


The Intersections of Access to Justice

In-person from 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Intended audience: Law students

Join UVic's Access to Justice Club in collaboration with other UVic Law Clubs to learn about the ways in which access to justice issues intersect with various legal perspectives and experiences. Each club will present on how their area of law is impacted by access to justice issues and at the end of the presentations, there will be a discussion period where participants will be welcome to share their perspectives and experiences in accessing justice. We hope to highlight the intersections of person-centered justice.

Location: TBA

Designing a Person-Centred Family Justice System

Virtual session from 4:00pm to 5:00pm.

Intended audience: Law students

Marcus M. Sixta, Founder and Partner, Crossroads Law and Coach My Case

Jane Morley, KC, Collaborative Lead, Transform the Family Justice System Collaborative (Pender Island)

Jennifer Buckley, Paralegal and Legal Coach, Kitsilano Family Law (Vancouver)

Benjamin Noorduyn, Lawyer, Martin Estate and Injury Law (Kelowna)

How could we make our family justice system more person-centred? Join four family law practitioners and legal innovators for a solutions-focused discussion on reforming family law in BC.

*Virtual link is available upon request


Gendered Aspects of Legal Aid

Zoom Webinar from 11:00am to 12:00pm


Lindsay Tedds, Associate Professor, Economics, University of Calgary

Gillian Petit, Senior Researcher, Economics, University of Calgary

Monique Pongracic-Speier, KC, Partner, Ethos Law

Learn about how empirical research has found that legal aid eligibility thresholds lead to disproportionate ineligibility of single women who are in poverty, compared to other specific groups, as well as about the application of Canada’s legal framework for equality and what both suggest in terms of program design and population-based access to justice.

This Access to Justice BC and CBABC co-hosted session builds on a CLEBC and CBABC co-hosted webinar about the legal aid landscape in BC on February 6, by diving into the operation and impact of legal aid rules and criteria.

Register here: Gendered Aspects of Legal Aid

*This webinar qualifies for 1 hour of CPD.

Youth Legal Needs and the Current Youth-Service Landscape in BC

Zoom Webinar from 12:30pm to 1:30pm (PST).

Intended audience: Legal community


Rachel Getz, first year law student at Thompson Rivers University School of Law

Avneet Sandhu, first year law student at the University of Victoria School of Law

Keegan Nicol, first year law student at UBC's Peter A. Allard School of Law

Tina Parbhakar, Strategic Coordinator, Access to Justice BC

Join Pro Bono Students Canada and Access to Justice BC to learn about post-COVID child and youth legal needs, how they are currently being met by youth services across the province, and how they could be addressed through systems change that supports child and youth meaningful participation, particularly in family and child protection matters.

In this interactive session, the speakers will share preliminary themes coming out of research about youth legal needs and peer support, and share A2JBC’s plans to create a Youth Connectors prototype that draws upon the research findings, as well as the leadership and input of young people with lived experience.

Register here:

*This webinar qualifies for 1 hour of CPD.

Youth Leaders in Law Virtual Speed Networking with Alberta & BC Law Students

Zoom webinar from 5:30pm to 7:00pm (PST).

This YLL and A2JBC hosted event will bring together high school and undergraduate students to gain insights into the law school student experience at five different universities across Western Canada. Students can ask questions about a law student's daily life, the admissions process, and career prospects. The event will be a valuable chance for youth interested in studying law to establish connections and learn more about the path to pursue their passions.

Intended audience: High school and undergraduate students.

Register here: Access to Justice & Youth Leaders in Law Speed Networking Event 2024 (

More information is available here:

Immigration Law Workshop

In-person from 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Intended audience: Law students

Location: Room 122, Allard Law

Allard Society of International Students and New Arrivals (ASISNA) is a supportive community formed with international students and recent immigrants at Allard, advocating for increased awareness and support for this community. This year, as a part of the Access to Justice Week, ASISNA plans to collaborate with LSLAP to host an immigration law workshop for students at Allard.

This workshop will cover topics including the rights and conditions of study permits, eligibility for post-graduation work permits (PGWP), and different pathways to permanent residency. ASISNA plans to invite an immigration lawyer and an immigration law professor to speak on these topics. It will not only provide useful resources to the international students at Allard, but also educate domestic students about the hurdles faced by immigrants who envision a future in Canada. Immigrants have historically been in a disadvantaged position as a politically powerless group. It is ASISNA's intention that raising awareness about their situation can help to promote law students' interest in immigration law and achieve better access to justice.

Supporting Organizations