Home / BCCLA Publishes New Arrest Handbook

BCCLA Publishes New Arrest Handbook

For Immediate Release

Unceded Coast Salish Territories / Vancouver, BC – The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) has published a widely expanded update of The Arrest Handbook – A Guide to Your Rights today including major changes to the legal landscape since last updated in 2012. This 106-page Handbook is available online and in print at no cost to community groups. This comprehensive guide to your rights is available in English, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, French, Punjabi, and Spanish. Also being released in these six languages is The Arrest Pocketbook – a compact version of the Handbook with a QR code to the full-length version on the back, convenient enough to slip into your pocket.

The Arrest Handbook provides easy-to-understand information on rights when interacting with police on topics like arrest, detention, search and seizure, and youth and the law. The Handbook features new sections on heavily policed communities, mental health and involuntary treatment, and protest, civil disobedience, and Indigenous resistance.

With generous support from our supporters, the Law Foundation of B.C. and the Canadian Bar Law for the Future Fund, the staff lawyers of the BCCLA, with the assistance of criminal, mental health and human rights law experts, researched this update to The Arrest Handbook, first published in 1988.

“We continue to see policing that disproportionately harms marginalized communities, including Indigenous, Black, and other racialized people, those who use criminalized drugs, those experiencing behavioural health crises, and those who are unhoused. We’ve made this Handbook to educate and empower individuals and communities most at risk of infringements on their civil liberties by police,” says Meghan McDermott, BCCLA Policy Director.

Digital copies and information on how to request hard copies of The Arrest Handbook and Pocketbook can be found here. The Handbook and Pocketbook provide an outline of the law but are not intended to in any way replace legal advice from a qualified lawyer.

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