BCCLA publishes new guide to your rights

The Arrest Handbook – A Guide to Your Rights is now available for distribution at no cost to community groups and individuals. This 62-page guide is a comprehensive revision of the popular handbook first published in 1988 and is now available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Arabic. Also available in the above languages is The Arrest Pocketbook, a condensed version of the Handbook that will fit into your backpocket.

According to BCCLA Executive Director Murray Mollard, “The Arrest Handbook and Pocketbook will provide an easy to understand explanation of basics of the law dealing with all aspects of arrest. These resources are timely given the real worry about the police exceeding their authority in a variety of controversial cases. A resource like this will help citizens to understand their own rights and the limits of police authority.”

Funded by a generous grant from the Law Foundation of B.C., David Eby, with the assistance of criminal law experts, researched and revised the Handbook which had been previously last been updated in 1988. The Handbook covers topics like:

  • Arrest
  • Mental health and policing
  • Police questioning
  • Search and seizure
  • Civil disobedience
  • Youth and mental health
  • Anti-terrorism legislation
  • Poverty and drug law issues
  • Police accountability

Though the Handbook and Pocketbook provide a general outline of the law, users must speak directly to a lawyer to obtain legal advice about their own concerns. The Handbook and Pocketbook include a list of references for legal aid and legal assistance.

To order free copies of The Arrest Handbook or The Arrest Pocketbook, contact the BCCLA office at 604-687-2919. The Handbook and Pocketbook are also available on the BCCLA website at