Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Legal Information Forum in Victoria Hosts 14 Community Groups

"The future of libraries rest not in their collections, but in their engagement with the communities they serve."        - David Lankes, Community as Collection, November 29, 2013

On November 7th, 2013, Scott Munro of the Greater Victoria Public Library hosted a LawMatters legal information forum at the GVPL Juan de Fuca Branch. A lively group of 18 people representing a range of community groups met to discuss their services and concerns with the provision of legal information. Attending the meeting were representatives from Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Victoria Police Victim Services, Together Against Poverty, BC Families in Transition, Communica (South Island Dispute Resolutions), Restorative Justice Victoria, Action Committee of People with Disabilities, Victoria Disability Resource Centre, Legal Services Society - Legal Aid Lawyer (Local Agent), Ready to Rent BC, Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre, Greater Victoria Public Library, Law Courts - Court Registry, and Courthouse Libraries BC (Victoria Regional Library).

Many participants commented that the event was a good opportunity to connect with other groups providing legal information, and update each other on current programs. Some of the comments from the evaluation forms included these recommendations:

  • Join the Coalition for Public Legal Services.
  • More organized networking between/among groups.
  • Keep up written communication to all levels of government to provide greater access to justice.
  • Do these workshops more frequently and do follow-up.

Victoria is the eighth library in the province to host a community legal information forum. Libraries interested in hosting a forum in their community can view the Planning Guide and contact Janet at jfreeman@courthouselibrary.ca for more information.





Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Legal Information Online December 2013


New on Clicklaw:

Child Support in BC Peoples Law School [20 pp PDF] February 2013 (replaces 2004 edition)


Family Law: Caring for Children After Separation Peoples Law School  [Factsheet 2pp PDF] February 2013 (replaces 2005 edition)

International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents Canada Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development  [31 pp PDF] 2013

The Legal landscape: A Scan of Public Legal Education and Information materials for Non-Profits Peoples Law School and Artists’ Legal Outreach [24 pp PDF] 2013

Limitation Act, Transition Rules, Part 1 BC Ministry of Justice [Video 10:21 minutes] 2013

Limitation Act, Transition Rules, Part 2 BC Ministry of Justice [Video 7:54 minutes] 2013

Overview of the Limitation Act  BC Ministry of Justice [Video 5:57 minutes] 2013

New from BC Civil Liberties Association:

The Curious Tale of The Dog That Hasn’t Barked (Yet) Surveillance and Society [4pp PDF] 2012

The Democratic Commitment Newsletter discusses surveillance, dying with dignity, and prison justice [12 pp PDF] Fall 2013



Rights Talk: Students and Civil Liberties at School  [58 pp PDF] November 2013 (updated from 2005 edition)

New from Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre and Registry:

Free Online Webinars on personal planning, Representation Agreements, Enduring Powers of Attorney and other related topics. December 2013 and January 2014 dates 


Other online resources:

Living in retirement  Financial Consumer Agency of Canada [web resource] 2013

Political Activities Self-Assessment Tool for Charities Canada Revenue Agency, [web resource] 2013

PLEI for Non-Profits Peoples Law School and Artists’ Legal Outreach [web resource] 2013

Blog posts and journal articles:

Courthouse Libraries BC's Online Legislation Resources The StreamCourthouse Libraries BC, July 3, 2013
Midwifery in Canada LawNow, November 2013

Police Enforcement Under the FLA: A brief refresher JP Boyd on Family Law, September 22, 2013

Searching Federal Hansard The Stream, Courthouse Libraries BC, November 25, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Clicklaw Wikibooks Adds EPUB Support for All Current Titles

As posted by Nathaniel Russell on the Clicklaw Blog October 8, 2013

Last week Clicklaw Wikibooks posted a complete set of EPUBs. Now every publication produced in partnership with the public legal education & information community in BC, including John-Paul Boyd, Cliff Thorstenson, and People’s Law School, can be downloaded for convenient offline reading on a compatible e-reader of the user’s choice. Here is a list of titles with links directly to the EPUB files:
A Clicklaw Wikibooks EPUB, much like a PDF, is produced within the Clicklaw Wikibooks environment and demonstrates again how varying formats can stem from one digital source. EPUB is a downloadable e-book format that is compatible with a very wide array of devices, one key exception being Amazon’s Kindle device, which uses a proprietary format.

Generally, all one now needs to take Clicklaw Wikibooks on the go is a standard e-reader such as a Kobo, iPad, or most any other tablet or digital ink-style e-reader. Even if you only want to read off of a computer or a smartphone, EPUBs are accessible so long as your device is equipped with the right software. Many users may already have one common application, OverDrive, installed, since OverDrive is required by some major library systems in BC that lend books in EPUB format. One notable, free and popular application is Calibre, which supports Mac, Windows and Linux users. iPhones and iPads come shipped with iBooks, which is a very clean and simple-to-use e-reader, and Android users also have many options to choose from.

Here is a composite look at how our growing collection looks on an iPad running the standard iBooks application (note that to download the EPUB, just look for the green icon circled below):



Like PDF, EPUB is a good format if you are reading at your own pace, don’t want to read from a website, or want to save the whole wikibook for when you are not online. Clicklaw Wikibooks are created and distributed with limited restrictions (we use a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence) so you can email the format to a friend, and the EPUB file doesn’t “expire” as would ones you borrow from most libraries. EPUB is a newer standard format for e-book readers and is generally preferred for e-reader devices over PDF because the format scales easily to improve readability (it adapts to match the size of your screen—no columns or other non-essential formatting), it automatically hyperlinks a table of contents to improve navigation, and EPUBs support some of the more convenient features of e-readers such as bookmarking and personal notes.

As we work closely with public libraries we aim to help them integrate Clicklaw Wikibooks in EPUB format in catalogues province-wide.

Here is a complete list of all Clicklaw Wikibooks, which we will keep updating as more are added. For help about our use of e-books, print-on-demand, and other format options please consult the Clicklaw Wikibooks Print/Export Guide for more information.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Wikibook Author Cliff Thorstenson Visits the Merritt Public Library


                             Clicklaw Wikibook author Cliff Thorstenson and Merritt Branch Librarian Deborha Merrick

Continuing the tradition of Clicklaw Wikibook authors visiting their local public libraries, Legal Help for British Columbians author Cliff Thorstenson recently visited the Merritt Branch of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District Library System. Local librarian Deborha Merrick told Cliff that she was pleased to add the latest edition of this very popular legal guide to her library's legal information collection.

Written in plain language, the guide includes over 40 common legal problems faced by low income people, and outlines the first steps your patron or client can take to address the problem. An annotated listing of over 60 referral resources is also included. The 2013 edition features updated information in family, welfare, employment insurance, and immigration law.

Cliff published the first edition of Legal Help for Rural British Columbians; A guide to help non-legal professionals make legal referrals for their clients in 2008. Recognizing that this guide would be a wonderful addition to public library collections and training, the LawMatters program worked with Cliff and a team of volunteer editors to update the 2009, 2011 and 2013 editions. Since 2012, the guide has also been available in a wikibook format. This innovative format makes the online guide easy to search, easy to update by the author and editors, and easy for readers to download and print a recently updated version of a page, chapter, or the whole guide.

For readers who would like their own copy, both wikibooks Legal Help for British Columbians and JP Boyd on Family Law are now available as an e-pub for e-readers and mobile devices. Just look for the e-pub download information on the right hand side of the main page of each wikibook. We are planning to have an information page available soon that will explain how e-pubs work, and how they compare to a PDF version.




Monday, August 19, 2013

New Legal Information Online August 2013

New from Legal Services Society on Clicklaw:

Consumer Law and Credit/Debt Law 4th ed 2012 (PDF 224 pp)

Defending Yourself: Assault  [PDF 24 pp] 2013

Defending Yourself: Mischief  [PDF 24 pp] 2013



 Blog posts and journal articles:

Cyberbullying or Criminal Conduct? LawNow, July 1, 2013

     - For other questions on personal planning and related issues, see the Nidus page Ask Joanne 

Helpful Decision on Finality of Divorce Act Orders Released  JP Boyd on Family Law, August 4, 2013

Summer Senate Series: Part 1  Blogosaurus Lex, Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta, August 2, 2013

Supreme Court Releases Important Decision on Relocation JP Boyd on Family Law, August 5, 2013










Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Print Wikibooks On Their Way to Public Libraries

Last week a shipment of print wikibooks titles (Legal Help for BC and JP Boyd on Family Law) was sent from the Courthouse Libraries BC LawMatters program to all 241 public library outlets in BC. Here is a picture of the mailout of 90 boxes (staff observed that it resembled a Tetris puzzle):



We are fortunate that we can use the services of BC Mail, through our partnership with Libraries & Literacy of the Ministry of Education, and we hope to have an e-reader version of both titles available soon.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Legal Information Online June 2013

New on Clicklaw:

NeedHelpNow.ca from the Canadian Centre for Child Protection



Learning about the Law: Working in BC, Renting a Home People's Law School [PDF 28 pp] 2013 

Other online resources:



Blog posts and journal articles:

Access Pro Bono Wills Clinic Clicklaw Blog April 19, 2013  

Co-Tenants and Co-Responsibilities Law Now April 27, 2013

Dealing with Cyberbullying Clicklaw Blog April 30, 2013

Elders of the First Nations Court  Legal Services Society Elan Blog June 25, 2013

Is it illegal to marry your first cousin in Canada? The Stream, Courthouse Libraries BC, May 13, 2013

Modern Day Slavery – How To Seek Help Clicklaw Blog May 27, 2013 

National Self Represented Litigants Research Report is released  Dr. Julie Macfarlane's Blog, May 3, 2013

New CRTC Code for Cell Phone Contracts Blogosaurus Lex, Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta, June 4, 2013

Post-Employment Legal Obligations Law Now April 27, 2013

The Citizen’s Arrest and Self-defence Act  The Stream, Courthouse Libraries BC, June 24, 2013





Monday, June 24, 2013

Maple Ridge Public Library Gets Visit from Wikibooks Author JP Boyd



Maple Ridge Public Library Branch Manager Teresa MacLeod 
and Clicklaw Wikibook author JP Boyd

Lawyer and author John-Paul Boyd brought a print copy of the Clicklaw Wikibook JP Boyd on Family Law to his local library in Maple Ridge recently. Fraser Valley Regional Library's Maple Ridge Branch Manager Teresa MacLeod welcomed the new resource on family law as a valuable addition to her library's legal information collection. As noted in a Clicklaw Blog post, JP Boyd on Family Law is an innovative and comprehensive resource for members of the public looking for help with their family law questions. Since the resource is available both online in a wiki format (similar to Wikipedia) as well as in bound print copies, it enables vastly improved access to legal information.

The LawMatters at your local public library program operated by Courthouse Libraries BC works in partnership with public libraries in BC to enhance access to legal information in a variety of formats. LawMatters is arranging printing and distribution to all 241 libraries in the province of free copies of JP Boyd on Family Law as well as the recently updated 4th edition of Legal Help for British Columbians, also a Clicklaw Wikibook title.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Legal Information Online April 2013, featuring JP Boyd on Family Law

Featured Resource::

This week is Law Week, and the Clicklaw team is pleased to announce that a new Clicklaw Wikibook was launched April 15: JP Boyd on Family Law. JP's popular website is now available on a wiki format - an easy-to-use and fully searchable online resource that can also be printed, downloaded or ordered as a full-sized book. Read more about this innovative new format.

New or updated common questions on Clicklaw:

I want to learn about the new BC Family Law Act

I'm in a family court case; will the new act affect me?

When there is wife abuse, what happens with parenting? 

New or updated publications from Legal Services Society:

Family Law in BC: Quick Reference Tool (PDF 13 pp ) 2013

For Your Protection: Peace Bonds and Family Law Protection Orders 3rd ed. (PDF 40 pp ) 2013

Live Safe — End Abuse Fact Sheet Series (PDF Series of 11, 2 pp each) 2013

Living Together or Living Apart: Common-Law Relationships, Marriage, Separation, and Divorce 6th ed. (PDF 109 pp ) 2013

Need Help with Your Refugee Claim? (PDF 2 pp ) 2013

New BC Family Law Act — Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 4 pp ) 2013

Parents' Rights, Kids' Rights: A Parent's Guide to Child Protection Law in BC 9th ed. (PDF 68 pp ) 2013

Surviving Relationship Violence and Abuse, 2nd ed. (PDF 116 pp ) 2013

Blog Posts:

The ABC’s of Drinking & Driving Offences  Clicklaw Blog, April 10, 2013

Is a Person's Condominium Their Castle? The Stream, Courthouse Libraries BC, February 18, 2013

Lawyer-Client Interaction: Law Society of BC’s Publications Dealing with Billing, Filing Complaints and Lawyers’ Code of Conduct Clicklaw Blog, February 25, 2013

Using CanLII in Unexpected Ways: The Expanded Edition The Stream, Courthouse Libraries BC, April 8, 2013







Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Legal Information Online - February 2013

New on Clicklaw:

Defending Yourself: Theft Under $5,000 Legal Services Society [24pp PDF] 2012 (replaces the title What to Do If You Are Charged with Theft Under $5,000) Includes flow chart ‘from your criminal charge to your trial’.

Guide to the New BC Family Law Act (translated into French, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Spanish and Punjabi) Legal Services Society, [30 pp PDF] 2012.

HIV Testing Handbook: A Guide to Your Rights BC Civil Liberties Association [24 pp PDF] 2012

Order to Waive Fees Package Court Services Branch BC, 2012.

Other online resources:

Forsaken: The Report of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry Executive Summary [180 pp PDF or ePub format] 2012

A National ID Card by Stealth? The BC Services Card BC Civil Liberties Association [Online report with links to resources] October 2012

Blog posts:

Client Data and Privacy Laws for Small Organizations Event Clicklaw Blog, February 3, 2013

Data Privacy Day Blogosaurus Lex, Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta, January 28, 2012. List of articles from Law Now magazine on privacy in Canada,

JESS – a virtual assistant for navigating BC Small Claims Court matters Clicklaw Blog, February 7, 2013

Last British Columbia Decision on Parental Support Released The Blog, JP Boyd’s BC Family Law Resource, February 4, 2013

Misogyny and the estate plan in the case of Werbenuk Estate (a parent cannot disinherit children on the basis of gender) The Stream, Courthouse Libraries BC, January 18, 2013

The Salvation Army’s Pro Bono Program closes its doors Elan, Legal Services Society, November 30, 2012

Tricky Legislation: Changes to Employment Insurance The Stream, Courthouse Libraries BC, January 22, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New Legal Information Online - January 2013


New on Clicklaw

* Legal Help for British Columbians: I want to claim refugee status in Canada  page updated to reflect recent legislative changes. Courthouse Libraries BC, January 2013.

* Refugee Claim Flow Chart Legal Services Society, 2012.

* Small Claims BC Online Help Guide now includes a ‘virtual assistant’ to guide reviewers through the process. Justice Education Society, January 2013.

Blog posts and journal articles:

Enduring Power of Attorney: Not for Health Care Nidus Blog January 3, 2013

* Litigants' Rights and Responsibilities JP Boyd’s BC Family Law Resource the Blog November 18, 2012

* New immigration publications and legal aid lawyer services Legal Services Society Elan Blog December 20, 2012

* New legislation changes Canada’s refugee claim process Legal Services Society Elan Blog December 19, 2012

* Privacy and Cloud Computing  Law Now January/February 2013 [journal article]

* Law Now January/February 2013  Feature Articles: Your Canada, Your Constitution; Special Report: Developments in Internet Law [69 pp PDF]