How to Apply for Representation
Criteria for Client Services
How to Apply for Representation
If you want to find out how to apply for representation click the
"How to Apply for Representation"
The Human Rights
Clinic is a specialized clinic that provides services to British
Columbians as they relate to pursuing and understanding their legal
rights under the BC Human Rights Code.
Coalition, in partnership with the Community Legal Assistance Society
(CLAS), runs a human rights clinic program that offers client services
and public legal education.
services include initial information and advice respecting human rights
issues, assistance in pursuing a complaint under the BC Human
Rights Code, and representation of complainants before the BC
Human Rights Tribunal. Our education focuses on promoting an understanding
of the BC Human Rights Code and offers preventative training
to ensure compliance with Code provisions. Funding
for much of this work is provided by the Ministry of the Attorney
General of BC.
services are offered at no cost on a province wide basis and can
be initiated by contacting the Coalition at (604) 689-8474
in Vancouver or toll-free at 1-877-689-8474.
You must apply to the clinic for representation. To do so, you should contact us within 30 days of receiving a letter from the Tribunal indicating that they have accepted your complaint as filed. Qualifying criteria for representation are considered.
In addition, an onsite
consultation service is offered every Monday between 10 am and 4
pm at the Tribunal's offices in Vancouver. A clinic
advocate will be on-hand to help those that have
difficulty framing complaints or replying to applications. This
initiative is offered on a first come first serve basis.
If you are a respondent needing assistance
with a human rights complaint, the University of Victoria's Law
Centre does run a respondent clinic. They may be reached at
250.385.1221 or toll-free 1.866.250.385.1221. An online description
of their service is available at www.thelawcentre.ca/rights.html.
Initial Information and Advice
Coalition staff can provide you with information on what protections are provided
in the BC Human Rights Code and help you determine if your
issue or concern falls under Code provisions. We can also
offer practical suggestions that may help to resolve your issue,
or in the event that you choose to file a formal human rights claim,
we can inform you about how to proceed and what to expect. Where
your issue falls outside provincial human rights legislation, we
will guide you to a more suitable agency or organization.
in Making or Responding to a Formal Complaint
people require assistance in filing and responding to formal complaints
of discrimination. At times a phone call, a review of required forms,
or providing information and advice on the Tribunal’s Rules
of Practice and Procedure is sufficient to ensure people have access
to, and assistance in, complying with Tribunal processes.
This assistance is limited to providing technical information and advice but it is available
province wide by phone at no cost.
Short Service Clinic
Each Monday between 10 am and 4 pm Coalition advocates provide a consultation service at the at the offices of BC Human Rights Tribunal. By signing a limited retainer complainants can get the help described above plus, we can help to properly frame complaints, ensure
all documentation is complete and advise
you as to your options and what to expect.
Case Work and Client Representation
Representation works in conjunction with, and alongside, the complaints process of the BC Human Rights Tribunal. Services are initially offered by lay advocates (paralegals) and then by lawyers. Both clinic advocates and lawyers specialize in human rights law. To be considered for this service, you must become a clinic client and authorize us to act on your behalf. Qualifying criteria are considered for intake purposes and you should contact us by phone to fully understand how to initiate this process.
Once a clinic client, we will
review your complaint with you to ensure we have a full understanding
of the issues you raise and we will advise you as to your available
options. We will work with you to strengthen and support your claim
by assisting in the preparation of all required documentation.
We will also represent you through negotiations, settlement or mediation
processes, and before a public hearing, should your claim move to
these stages. In addition, we will ensure all post settlement and
post hearing documentation is filed with the Tribunal. At all times
clinic staff will seek instruction prior to acting on your behalf.
Either party to a human
rights claim has the right to apply for a judicial review of a Tribunal
Clinic staff will continue
to represent complainants through this process where a respondent
initiates a judicial review. Where a complainant wishes to
initiate this process, clinic staff will continue to represent their
client's interest upon a positive evaluation of a review committee.
This committee considers factors such as the merits of the
case, the cost and time commitment required, and the significance
of the outcome for the individual and the public at large.
and Training Program
In addition to the clinic’s
client services program, clinic staff conduct public legal education
workshops, seminars and training sessions on topics related to the
BC Human Rights Code. Sessions raise the general level of
legal awareness about our human rights legislation across the province
and offer tools to employers, service providers and unions to assist
them in complying with Code provisions.
Please contact us directly or view
our current education schedule
to learn more about this service.
Qualifying Criteria for Client Services
Criteria are based on
a number of factors associated with your complaint. The Coalition will
consider and collect data on all of the following factors in determining
initial client eligibility:
Once criteria have been considered, all clients must sign a letter
authorizing the clinic to act on their behalf. This letter
sets out the terms and conditions of the service provided. Due to clinic capacity we are unable to guarntee hearing representation for all clinic clients. Please contact us directly for more information.
- Are there alternative redress processes available to the Complainant
that may reasonably address the issues raised in the Complaint?
- Can the Complainant reasonably be expected to obtain assistance from
other sources such as a law centre, union, community agency, or
- What is the Complainant’s financial status?
- What is the nature of the issues raised by the Complaint?
- Does the Complaint raise systemic issues or is the resolution of the
Complaint likely to benefit more than the Complainant alone?
- What are the merits of the complaint and what is the likelihood of
success before the Human Rights Tribunal?
- Does the Complaint raise novel issues of law, the answers to which
would advance the purposes of the Code?