Select an Issue

Alcohol and the Law

Published February 2011


Can the host of a party be held responsible for the actions of his or her intoxicated guests? The answer to this question is the essence of social host liability. Learn about how the courts determine if a duty of care is owed in a situation and how duty of care has been applied to two precedent-setting legal cases.

Next, learn the difference between laws created by both the Government of Canada and Government of BC that apply to drinking and driving - like the province's laws that came into effect in September 2010.

International Criminal Court

Published January 2011


The primary purposes of laws are to regulate society and resolve conflict. A successful society usually has a system of laws and the means to enforce them. As global citizens we are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to set basic universal standards and a means to require compliance from all.

The International Court is currently trying to establish and enforce such standards. Learn how it is going about that difficult task and participate in a Mock Trial conducted in an international court.

Native Land Claims and Treaties in BC

Published November 2009


Aboriginal treaties are in the news and all British Columbians should understand what the treaties are about.  Why do we need treaties? What are the land claims all about and what impact will they have on the land and people of British Columbia?

This issue of the Law Connection answers some of those questions and describes the process taking place between First Nations and the provincial and federal governments to reach a settlement of long-standing issues. Teachers can engage students in a mock treaty process by following the lesson plan included in this issue. 

Police Oversight

Published February 2008


Police forces - whether they be municipal, RCMP or tribal - are not above the law; they live by the same laws that they are responsible for upholding. This oversight ensures that police officers, as well as their departments, do not take advantage of their positions of power. It also maintains public confidence in the police.

Environment and Climate Change

Published March 2007


The first issue of the Law Connection was concerned with climate change and the Kyoto Accord. Seven years later, we have witnessed increasing worldwide alarm over global warming and are less convinced that the Kyoto Accord could or would address those concerns.

Evidence and Forensics

Published March 2007


The trial of Robert Willie Pickton has been dominating the news for some months and there is enough information now available in the case to begin to form some opinions about the judicial process, the nature of the offenses that the accused has been charged with, and the way the evidence is being presented and challenged in court.

Sentencing Theory

Published February 2007


Current sentencing practices in Canada are based on several theories both ancient and modern. In the two articles that address the issue you will discover what those theories are and how they have been applied. Some of the old ideas have recently been found to be less useful because they don’t recognize the special circumstances of some offenders. The second article is a case study in which a particular offender was deemed to fit into a group that deserves special consideration by the court.

Judicial Appointment

Published November 2005


Judges are very important people in our society. They make life-altering decisions every day. The courts over which they preside are part of an immense and complex legal system.

How do judges get their jobs? What qualifications are necessary and what recourse do citizens have if they are not satisfied with the way a judge is doing his or her job? These are some of the questions answered in the Backgrounder.

What's In a Name

Published June 2005


Businesspeople have to be careful when choosing a name for their new businesses. Business names are automatically copyright protected and therefore a search must be done to ensure that no one else owns the right to use aname. This issue explores the process for protecting your rights to a name and what can happen if you don't take these precautions.

Same Sex Marriage

Published December 2003


Courts determine if there is any inconsistency in a law by reviewing legal challenges from people who are personally affected by that law. This issue of the Law Connection focuses on one such challenge – same-sex marriage.