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Legal Aid in British Columbia

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					                                        The concept of legal aid is one
of the best ideas in the legal sphere for people with low or no income.
While the law of Canada grants equal rights to every citizen the
financial situation can sometimes limit the possibilities of the people
who are in need of legal help. That's why Canada has a developed system
of Legal Aid offices, which provide some level of legal aid to people who
are unable to afford legal representation due to financial
difficulties.British Columbia has established a Legal Air program in
1979. This system in the province is administered by Legal Services
Society and regulated by the Legal Services Society Act (Chapter 30 of
the 2002 Statutes of British Columbia). Legal Services Society is an
independent, non-profit organization acting under the laws of British
Columbia. It is funded mostly by provincial government, but also receives
funds from federal government and various law organizations. As in the
other provinces before a person receives legal aid, he or she must pass
qualification. The Legal Services Society Act states that legal aid is
available to individuals with low income or no income in following
situations. When the individual is a defendant in criminal proceedings
and the verdict can lead to the individual's imprisonment. When the
individual can be imprisoned or confined through civil proceedings. If
the individual's physical or mental safety or health or that of the
individual's children is or may be affected by domestic dispute, where
the individual represents one of the sides. Also legal aid can be
provided if the individual has a legal problem that threatens his or her
family's physical or mental safety or health, ability to feed, clothe and
provide shelter for himself or herself and the individual's dependents,
or livelihood. So as you see legal aid is provided generally in most
serious cases, when the individual faces such serious thing as
imprisonment for example. Due to the changes in the economical situation
the defining the low income also varies from time to time.Despite of the
great idea of the Legal Aid system, in Canada it has a number of problems
that eventually ended up as a crisis of this system. The main problem of
legal aid is underfunding. The salaries of professional attorneys are
usually high, so there is actually a very small percentage of attorneys
willing to work for small government set salaries. Mostly people who
spent serious amounts of money on education are not willing to start
their career as a public lawyer. Another problem of this system is uneven
coverage, it actually varies from province to province. Legal aid is
available only for certain types of problems and procedures so at some
points it proves to be inefficient. The three main problems -
underfunding, coverage and effectiveness lead to the fourth problem -
disappointment of the people. The whole system turns out to be not very
helpful in some of the cases, so basically people loose faith in legal
aid.

				
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