This guide contains some helpful resources that can help you better understand the justice system in Alberta, including information about court rules and criminal procedures. You can also find important links and organizations that offer free resources and offer support to those accused of a crime and their families.
Canadian Criminal Law Institution and Organizations
The Alberta Courts are composed of the Court of Appeal of Alberta, Court of King’s Bench of Alberta and the Alberta Court of Justice. The Provincial Court is responsible for the majority of criminal matters in Alberta; 95% of the cases are resolved there.
Alberta Government – Law and Justice
Learn more about crime, law enforcement and the province’s justice system in Alberta. On their website, you can find legal assistance, free resources, your rights as an Albertan, and information about court procedures and trial courtroom procedures.
Canadian Judicial Council
The Canadian Judicial Council is the national council of the judiciary of Canada, overseeing the federal judges. Their website has important information to help you understand how the justice system works.
Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta (CPLEA)
CPLEA is a public legal education organization dedicated to making information about the law available in readable and understandable language for Albertans. On their website, you can browse legal topics by area. They also have materials and information about criminal law and abuse & protection.
The Department of Justice assists the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of Canada. The Department also ensures that high-quality legal services are available to the federal government. You can learn about criminal justice, victim support, and the local services they offer.
The Bail Process – Government of Canada
CLG Alberta – (Formerly Dial-A-Law)
CLG is a non-profit legal organization dedicated to providing free legal guidance to vulnerable Albertans and those who do not have access to paid services. On their site, you can find a number of programs, legal services and support.
A Canadian non-profit organization that advocates for individuals convicted of a crime that they did not commit. Innocence Canada Foundation works to provide legal services to low-income families.
Legal Aid Alberta
A non-profit organization that provides legal services across Alberta. Their mission is to help individuals and the legal community support the justice system’s fairness.
Native Counselling Services of Alberta
Native Counselling is a non-profit organization that works to ensure that Native people in Alberta receive fair and equitable treatment in the justice system. The organization educates Aboriginal people about court procedures, and their legal rights and obligations, among others.
Elizabeth Fry Society
The Elizabeth Fry Society offers services for women who have come in conflict with the law or are incarcerated. There are 24 self-governing, community-based offices, including local offices in Calgary and Northern Alberta.
Website – Calgary: https://elizabethfrycalgary.ca/
Website – Edmonton: https://www.efrynorthernalberta.com/
Canadian Criminal Code
The Criminal Code is the federal law that defines the majority of criminal offences adopted by the Parliament of Canada. The code covers a wide range of crimes, such as murder, assault, theft and fraud. You can learn more about the criminal code in this infographic.
Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
All legislative documents related to controlled substances are contained in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. If you have been charged with a drug offence, visit our drug possession section here.
Other Helpful Resources For People Accused of a Crime
- Glossary of Legal Terms – Law Society Alberta – visit this glossary website to understand legal terms and explanations..
- You’ve been charged with a crime: What you need to Know – a resourceful guide by the Alberta Government with general information about what to expect if you’re convicted.
- Victims of Crime – The Canadian Government offers information and assistance for victims of crimes, including rights, roles, services, bail, trials, sentencing, parole and several publications.
- Canadian Legal FAQs: Alberta – FAQ questions about the federal or Alberta law system.
- Ask JES – free multilingual legal assistance, including chat, phone and text messages. They offer help in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Hindi, and French. Note: Ask JES is intended for British Columbia residents, but it can also be accessed for general information.