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Until you’re confronted with a legal problem, you probably don’t pay too much attention to talk about access to justice. But legal issues are part of our everyday lives and we’re all likely to encounter them sooner or later. Starting a job, renting an apartment, paying bills, living common law or getting married, thinking about a will – these are all common events that affect our legal health.

We get check-ups to assess our physical health – now you can take a quiz to check your legal health!

Who’s behind the quiz?

The family and civil justice system in Canada is too complex, too slow and too expensive to meet the needs of most people with legal problems. There are many dedicated people and courts trying to make it work better, and many reform efforts are now focusing on institutional structures to design and implement change and better coordinate justice services.

Concerned about the barriers confronting Canadians who need help from our justice system – cost, delays, geographical distances, for example - Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin of Canada’s Supreme Court established a national Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters in 2007 to bring people together to find solutions. With wide support from groups including judges' and lawyers’ organizations, community groups, groups working on increasing access to the justice system, law schools and government ministries, including the BC Ministry of Justice, it created a Roadmap for Change report that led to the formation of Access to Justice (A2J) groups in every province and territory, including A2J BC in this province. The national Action Committee developed Canada’s Justice Development Goals and is now working collaboratively across the country to track progress on each of the goals.

This summer, the Action Committee began promoting its #JusticeForAll campaign, to:

• increase public understanding of the importance of legal health
• remind people that we will all encounter legal issues throughout our lives and can be prepared for many of them
• raise public understanding of the need for accessible justice in a healthy democracy
• broaden the discussion of ways to increase access to justice by including citizens, decision-makers and people outside the justice system and tapping their imaginations and resources

What does it involve?

‘Hey Canada, how ready are you to manage every day legal issues?”

The quiz begins this way and invites you to find out. It tests your awareness of ten everyday legal issues. It then provides your score, the correct answers, and sources where you can get more information.

Although the federal Criminal Code applies to everyone in Canada, there are differences in family and civil law and procedures in each province. The quiz asks you to name the province you live in so that it can provide information sources in your own province or territory. But your responses and score are anonymous, confidential and can’t be used against you!

A teaching tool for teachers and professors

What better way to start the term in a Law 12 or other secondary school class, a college or university class, or even law school? Students can take the quiz and retake it later to see what they’ve learned.

Want to help promote the quiz?

It’s important for people to understand that the law is a part of daily life that can be understood and managed with the help of accurate legal information and legal professionals. You can join the campaign by spreading word about the quiz.

Justice-related groups, lawyers and other legal professionals, and anyone interested can participate in the #JusticeForAll social media campaign by retweeting tweets from @BCProvCourt and @ActionCommA2J. The quiz and the Goals are available in English and French, ready to promote online and through social media. If you want to get more involved, send a fax to us at (604) 660-1108 and we’ll forward your fax to the Action Committee. They can offer suggestions, graphics and sample social media messages.

Test your legal health now!
Take the first step in learning about the law that affects you and managing its impact on your life. Try the quiz at LegalHealthQuiz.

For more information, see:
Canada’s Justice Development Goals
Legal Health Quiz

This article provides general information only and should not be used authority in court proceedings or as a substitute for legal advice.