Via the ELAN blog, the Legal Services Society received an extra $2 million in funding from the BC government this year, and this fall will see the launch of five new initiatives made possible because of that money.
The pilot projects are:
- Expanded family duty counsel services in Victoria, to provide free legal advice to people going through separation and divorce
- Expanded Family LawLINE program, to add more services to this free legal advice line for people going through family law issues
- Referrals to Mediate BC with paid mediation and and then sliding-scale fee services, to expand availability of early and affordable mediation
- Establishment of a Parents’ Legal Centre (location TBD) focused on collaboratively resolving child protection issues
- Expanded criminal duty counsel services to provide continuity of counsel to clients in uncomplicated cases, in order to resolve cases earlier
The last project, an expanded criminal duty counsel model, is a commitment the government made in last year’s justice reform White Paper, A Timely, Balanced Justice System.