Why laws matter and why they need review

Laws affect the lives of British Columbians in many ways. Examples include:

  • relationships between family members and others
  • interactions between neighbours;
  • how business is conducted between parties;
  • protecting vulnerable populations from abuse, neglect or self-neglect, while respecting an adult’s autonomy;
  • recognition of human rights;
  • and more.

Laws are written by federal and provincial governments and by municipalities. Courts also shape our law as decisions interpret how to apply legislation. Over time, laws become outdated for many reasons.The law may no longer reflect society’s needs or current values, the law may be out of step with other jurisdictions, or a court may have struck the law down. Examples include:

  • uncertainty in the law may cause confusion and unnecessary litigation; 
  • interpretation of legislation by the courts may have unintended consequences;
  • laws may be applied in ways that do not consider the realities and circumstances of different populations in our communities;
  • current laws may not respond to new realities such as the fast pace of change in the technology so integral to our lives;
  • access to justice solutions may require new laws or amendments to current laws.