Where to Start?
Canada’s laws affect us every day because they are the rules for how we live in our community. Governments create the law, police enforce the law, and courts apply the law. In court, a judge or a jury makes a decision about a legal problem. The problem can involve people who cannot resolve a disagreement, or the government charging someone with a crime. Judges make decisions based only on the facts of the case and the law that applies to those facts.
Sometimes, everyday issues can become legal problems. Car accidents, contract disputes and workplace injuries are examples of an issue that could become a legal problem.
If you have an issue that is a legal problem, you probably need some help to learn about your legal rights. You may need a lawyer and you may need to learn more about the law.
If you do not have a lawyer, you will have to prepare your case and do the research to represent yourself. You will need to learn about the court system, the specific laws in your case, what you and the "other side" must prove, what defences you have, and how to build legal arguments for your case.
If you are representing yourself, you have a lot of work to do. It's important to seek legal advice. For more information, see:
There is information in other sections on this website that provide more specific information. Check the sections for Crime, Family and Lawsuits. If you have an issue with a government agency or professional organization, see AdminLawBC.ca.
Types of Legal Problems
There are many different types of laws that apply to different types of legal issues. In British Columbia, the laws that affect most people are: criminal law, civil law, family law and administrative law.
As you can see, there are specialized laws that relate to different kinds of problems. What type of problem do you have? What area of the law is it?
Depending on your problem, your case may be heard in the BC Provincial Court, the Supreme Court of BC or one of the many administrative tribunals. To learn more, see BC’s Justice System.
Last reviewed: March 2016
IMPORTANT: This page provides legal information, not legal advice. If you need legal advice consult a lawyer.
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