Legal Independence: It's Your Right

Developed in partnership with The Law Society of BC, Legal Independence: It's Your Right uses real-life examples in an engaging, 10-minute video to help Civics 11, Social Studies 11 and Law 12 students understand the concepts of judicial and lawyer independence. A Teacher's Guide is available. The program includes numerous activities and case studies, including the FLQ crisis and international human rights decisions.

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Understand terms such as “rule of law,” ”judicial independence” and “lawyer independence.”
  • Differentiate between judicial independence and lawyer independence.
  • Understand that judicial independence and lawyer independence are essential to the rule of law in a democratic state.
  • Understand the importance of the division among those who make the law, those who interpret and apply it and those who enforce it. This division of powers requires an independent judiciary, a functioning court system and a strong, independent, and properly qualified legal profession.
  • Appreciate the respective roles of judges and lawyers in dealing with cases.
  • Understand that judicial decisions cannot be influenced by outside sources.
  • Understand that, although judges and some lawyers are paid by the state, they are not influenced or told what to do by the state.
  • Understand that judges and lawyers must uphold the ethical and practice standards of their respective professions when doing their work.
  • Analyze fact patterns to determine how lawyers would respond to their clients.

Legal Independence: It's Your Right is a FREE resource. Order this publication.

As a follow-up activity, you may explore Try Judging, a program developed by judges for high school classes. Visit their national web site at www.tryjudging.ca.