British Columbia Civil Liberties Association

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British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
Formation 1962
Type Non-government organization
Headquarters Vancouver, Canada
over 1000 members
Official language
Rob Holmes

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association or BCCLA is a non-government organization in British Columbia, Canada dedicated to the preservation, maintenance and extension of civil liberties and human rights in Canada.

Founded in 1962, the BCCLA is the oldest civil liberties organization in Canada. It is based in Vancouver and is jointly funded by the Law Foundation of British Columbia and by private citizens through membership.

The BCCLA has developed over 200 policy briefs, which serve as the principled cornerstones for the association's work. The BCCLA meets with government and private sector officials to persuade them to change laws or policies which infringe on civil liberties and to develop new laws and policies which protect fundamental rights and freedoms. If the association's efforts are unsuccessful, the association is sometimes able to go to court, either by arranging for pro bono counsel for clients, by intervening in legal cases or by litigating the issue.

The BCCLA publishes and distributes free publications such as the Arrest Handbook (English, Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese), The Citizenship Handbook (English, Punjabi and Vietnamese) and Rights Talk (English), a guide for high school students. The association also publishes pamphlets which provide information on drug testing in the workplace and assists those who would like to make a police complaint. The Association also provides assistance to those who think they might have a civil liberties issue that needs resolution.

The association organizes forums on topics such as racial profiling, legalization of cannabis and death in custody. It also organizes speaking events with speakers such as Eddie Greenspan, Beverley McLachlin, Michael Ignatieff, John Ralston Saul and Maher Arar.

The BCCLA publishes a newsletter twice a year, (The Democratic Commitment) as well as an annual report. It also presents an annual Reg Robson Award, named in memory of the organization's longtime president, to honour people who have been active on civil liberties issues. Past recipients of the award have included Janine Fuller, Peter and Murray Corren, Tara Singh Hayer, Kim Bolan, Philip Owen, Joseph Arvay, Monia Mazigh and Maher Arar, William Kuebler and Stewart Phillip.

Its current executive director is Joshua Paterson, a Vancouver-based lawyer. David Eby was executive director from 2008 until 2012.


Supreme Court of Canada[edit]

The BCCLA has |intervened in the following cases before the Supreme Court of Canada:

British Columbia Court of Appeal[edit]

The BCCLA has intervened in the following cases before the B.C. Court of Appeal:

Supreme Court of British Columbia[edit]

The BCCLA has intervened in the following cases before the Supreme Court of B.C.:

British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal[edit]

The BCCLA has intervened in the following cases before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal:

Federal Court of Canada[edit]

The BCCLA has intervened in the following cases before the Federal Court of Canada – Trial Division:





  • The Facts About Drug Testing in the Workplace
  • Suggestions for Writing a Letter of Complaint to the Police

See also[edit]

External links[edit]