Canadians can now access their basic rights on arrest, search and detention via their mobile phones. The BCCLA has partnered with two volunteer developers to release a free app for iPhones and Android devices that contains content from the organization’s popular Arrest Handbook: A Guide to your Rights. The app provides users with easy to read, basic information about their legal and constitutional rights.
“Rights are meaningless if individuals don’t know they have any rights,” said Lindsay Lyster, President of the BC Civil Liberties Association. “These apps target young people where they live, on their mobile phones. This is an educational tool to make sure that young Canadians know what their rights are, and know how to use them.”
The BCCLA has distributed over 10,000 copies of the Arrest Handbook in print, with hundreds more distributed in Vietnamese, Spanish and Arabic.
“The BCCLA is fifty years old, but that doesn’t mean we need to be using fifty year old means of communication to educate people,” said Lyster. “Our organization is ready to provide people the information they want in the way that they want it now and into the future.”
The apps were programmed by law student volunteers with the support of BCCLA lawyers and staff. Leif Jensen, from the University of Saskatchewan Law School and Paul Holden from McGill Law School volunteered their time to design the applications, and the BCCLA is very grateful for their support.
Android QR code