Planning is underway for the inaugural national Duty Counsel Day, taking place on October 27, 2021. The day is meant to acknowledge duty counsel across Canada and raise public awareness about the service. It’s estimated that duty counsel help people more than 1.2 million times a year across the country. In BC, there are more than 400 lawyers on the duty counsel rosters, assisting about 100,000 people per year (in a non-COVID year).
A virtual event will be held to mark the day, which was recently proclaimed in the Senate. Duty counsel, provincial and federal politicians, and justice system stakeholders from across the country will be invited to attend. Watch your inbox for an invitation to the October 27 event from LABC.
The idea for a day to celebrate duty counsel began at Legal Aid Alberta, which garnered the interest of the Association of Legal Aid Plans (ALAP). Most legal aid plans across Canada are participating on an organizing committee, and ALAP provided a small fund for a website to mark the day while educating the public about duty counsel. Scroll down to the bottom of the website’s home page to receive updates.