Justice In Our Times

Justice information, news and resources for British Columbians.

Featured Lecture Video
  • Central American Crime: Justice In Our Times

    Central American Crime: Justice In Our Times

    On January 27, the Society gathered a panel of speakers with differing perspectives of the international impact of Central American crime.

    Topics included the evolution of gangs in El Salvador, the legal and social impact of Central American crime in BC, and the Society's work to strengthen the region's justice systems.

    presentation videos
  • Gang Wars: Justice In Our Times

    Gang Wars: Justice In Our Times

    Gang Wars: Justice in Our Times featured four panelists discussing how our justice system and communities can better respond to BC's gang problem.

    Watch the event, which covered numerous topics including legislation changes, witness protection, publication bans and early intervention.

    presentation videos
  • Aboriginal Justice In Our Times

    Aboriginal Justice In Our Times

    On March 3rd, a panel of notable speakers presented thought-provoking ideas and opinions on legal issues facing the Aboriginal community.

    presentation videos
  • Pioneering in the Fight against Human Trafficking

    Video Example

    In November 2008, Patsy Sorensen, founder and director of the Belgian non-governmental organization Payoke, delivered a presentation titled "Pioneering in the Fight Against Human Trafficking" to a crowded room at SFU Harbour Centre.

    presentation videos

June 2010 Newsletter


Supreme Court New Rules
On July 1, the Supreme Court of BC introduced new civil and family rules, which are meant to make the civil and family justice systems more responsive, accessible and efficient. The Justice Education Society has created a new series of guidebooks to reflect the rules changes.

Guidebooks for Representing Yourself in Supreme Court Civil Matters includes 22 new publications, with annotated forms attached. In addition, the Society will produce two news videos: Supreme Court Procedures, Rules and Forms, as well as Supreme Court Chambers Applications. The Society is also developing a series of short how-to videos which will provide guidance on completing Supreme Court civil forms.

On July 1st, the Justice Education Society (JES) launched www.SupremeCourtBC.ca. This new website brings together a number of Supreme Court resources produced by the Society. The focus of the site it to provide British Columbians with an introduction to the Supreme Court and to make it easy for them to access key self-help resources. Along with the 22 new Guidebooks, annotated forms and Supreme Court videos (described above), the website will be the new home of Civil Case Tip Sheets, Court Tips for Parents, Family Law and You, Representing Yourself in CriminalCourt, and more.

JES In the News
The Legal Services Society’s Electronic Legal Aid Newsletter recently featured an article that detailed many of the JES’s programs and resources.

Vancouver Justice Access Centre
On June 15, Vancouver’s Justice Access Centre (Vancouver JAC) was officially opened. The Centre provides hands-on support for those with family justice and civil justice matters. The Vancouver JAC is led by the Ministry of Attorney General. Other agencies involved include the Mediate BC Society, Legal Services Society and several organizations that provide legal advice. The centre also links with other community and government services.

The centre’s focus is on solving problems through out-of-court settlements, but also to better prepare those who do go to court. This broader approach will allow staff to recognize and help solve the social problems that often accompany clients’ legal problems.

In addition, the Supreme Court Self-Help Centre is now called: JAC Self-help and Information Services. As a result of these changes, www.SupremeCourtSelfHelp.bc.ca was updated and a broader range of information is now available online. The Society has worked closely with the Ministry of the Attorney General to revise the site and we look forward to further improvements to this popular online resource.

Facebook & Twitter
The Society has recently increased how frequently it publishes BC justice news on its Facebook and Twitter pages. Become our friend (Facebook) or follow us (Twitter) to receive links to 2-3 interested justice-related stories per day.

We Can BC Volunteers
Volunteer with We Can End All Violence against Women this summer! If you are interested in women’s rights and social justice, and want to have fun while you make a difference, then participate in the organization’s festival and concert displays.

This is an excellent opportunity if you want to make a positive change, become a part of the We Can family, and are interested in doing outreach and advocacy for We Can. Learn how to effectively communicate and engage the public on the issue of violence against women at festivals and concerts this summer!

Contact Tess.Gregory@JusticeEducation.ca for information about this exciting volunteering opportunity. For more information on the campaign, visit www.WeCanBC.ca. The JES is a coalition partner of We Can BC.

Project News

Oral Trial Techniques
This month, the Justice Education Society (JES) organized a ‘Train the Trainers’ course on Oral Trial Techniques as a component of the Canadian International Development Agency’s project in Guatemala. Five judges and four prosecutors took part in this two week-long training, as did the Society’s Central America Coordinator and Vice-Coordinator, a representative from CAFCA (the project-implementing body in Guatemala), and three guests from the office of El Salvador’s Attorney General.

The training program was developed by JES experts to reflect Guatemala’s legal reform needs, which were determined through exchanges both to and from the country in July 2009 and January 2010.

The program thoroughly examines pre-trial case preparation as well as case presentation at trial. It included many discussions comparing the Canadian and Guatemalan court systems and procedures, and of how Canadian best practices could help improve and expedite these procedures in Guatemala. Canadian investigative experts joined BC Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judges to share their experiences with their Guatemalan counterparts.

This training initiates the third phase of the project in Guatemala; in the future it will be adapted to be continued in El Salvador and Honduras.

Helen Mack Event
On May 10, over 70 people attended a presentation by Helen Mack Chang, a Guatemalan human rights advocate who was recently nominated to become the Commissioner for Police Reform in Guatemala.

The event, which was organized by the Justice Education Society (JES), began with an impassioned presentation by Helen on the current realities of Guatemala. She covered many topics, including the growing violence in Guatemala and the urgent need for justice reform.

Helen then fielded lively questions from the audience including many from Guatemalans who have immigrated to Vancouver following the civil war. Questions included her vision for a less violent country, her plans for reforming the police sector, and whether she fears for her personal safety if she takes on this position.

Helen founded the Myrna Mack Foundation after her sister, a social anthropologist and human rights activist, was brutally assassinated by the Guatemalan military in 1990. The Foundation combats impunity in Guatemala and contributes to the modernization and democratization of the country’s justice system.

Funding for this event was generously provided by the Canadian International Development Agency.

Staff News

It was with sadness that the Society recently bid adieu to three interns who contributed greatly on many projects: Tamana Sediqi, Emily Gorham and Judy Feng.

And, on the other hand, the Society is excited to welcome a group of new interns: Rebecca Gu and Jessica Magalios will be assisting the International Team, and Dušan Despot is working with the Communications Department.