THE COMMISSION DES SERVICES JURIDIQUES AND THE COMMUNITY LEGAL CENTRES
DECLARATION OF SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC
The Commission des services juridiques sees to it that legal aid is provided to persons who are financially eligible for such services.
The Commission consists of twelve (12) members appointed by the government and chosen because of their contribution to the study and solution of the legal problems of the underprivileged.
There are eleven (11) regional legal aid centres to provide legal aid services in the territory of Québec.
The regional centres are established by the Commission des services juridiques and their boards of directors consist of twelve (12) members appointed by the Commission.
Legal aid services covered by the system are provided to persons who are financially eligible; they are provided either free of charge or upon payment of a contribution. This contribution, which is determined by regulation, is always collected by the legal aid centre.
Principal areas of practice:
Legal aid services provided:
How to access our services:
There are over one hundred (100) legal aid bureaus in more than ninety-eight (98) cities in Québec where legal aid services are provided to meet the needs of the public. Your request for legal aid will generally be handled at the legal aid bureau closest to your place of residence.
The physical layout of the legal aid bureaus has been designed to ensure the confidentiality of your dealings with our staff. Lawyers have access to private offices.
Each legal aid bureau posts its own fixed business hours.
We will answer you promptly and courteously, identify our organization and offer a word of welcome.
If you leave your name, telephone number and the name of the person to whom you wish to speak, we will call you back promptly.
1. We will determine the urgency of the services required and will give you an appointment in a timely manner.
2. We will inform you of the principal documents you should provide to establish your eligibility for legal aid.
We promote our legal aid services to the public in general and to our target population in particular:
1. By publishing a list of the bureaus with their addresses and telephone numbers;
2. By disseminating information describing our services, the rules of eligibility and the rights and obligations of legal aid applicants;
3. By ensuring that posters advertising the on-call emergency legal aid service are posted in police stations;
4. By publicizing our services to governmental agencies and departments, including, in particular, the Ministère de la Solidarité sociale;
If you are being held in custody, you may request and obtain the services of a legal aid lawyer from your place of detention.
1. Generally, you will be welcomed on the day and at the time set for your legal aid appointment and, if applicable, you will meet with a lawyer.
2. From the very first moment you deal with a legal aid employee, all your communications and dealings with the employee are covered by professional secrecy and are confidential.
Availability and diligence
In the practice of his profession, a lawyer must display reasonable availability and diligence.
A lawyer from a legal aid bureau must be present in court when necessary and, if applicable, meet there with his client.
Staff members must display reasonable diligence in the performance of the work entrusted to them.
Support staff members are required, by their terms of employment, to be available at all times during their working hours, to answer clients’ requests and to send them all relevant information.
Complaints supply us with information allowing us to improve the services we provide to the public.
Complaints relate to the accessibility of our services, the manner in which our services are provided and the quality of our services; they are received and handled in a confidential manner.
We suggest that you make your complaint known to the director of the legal aid bureau or to the person in charge of the bureau.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you must submit it in writing to the director general of the regional centre in question.
A form for this purpose is available in the legal aid office.
In order to ensure that you receive the best possible service, you must provide us with the requested information and documents so that we can process your legal aid application and handle your case.
The Commission des services juridiques and the regional legal aid centres seek to continuously improve the quality of their services. To this end, they may consult you in order to determine your needs and expectations; the results of such consultations will be published in the management report submitted annually to the Ministère de la Justice.