Through the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, Legal Representation for Children and Youth (LRCY) provides lawyers for children and youth in child intervention matters.
What does LRCY do?
Who may be eligible for a LRCY appointed lawyer?
Young people receiving intervention services may be eligible if:
A young person with Permanent Guardianship may be eligible for a lawyer for other reasons. Check out LRCY policy for further details.
Will LRCY provide a lawyer for a young person for every matter?
No, LRCY will carefully review the request for a lawyer and make a decision based on a number of variables. For example, a lawyer may not be appointed if everyone agrees to the court application and the other parties do not have a lawyer, or if the young person does not want a lawyer.
Will LRCY provide a lawyer for a custody or criminal matter?
No. However, Legal Aid Alberta may.
Does the young person have to pay for this service?
No, there are no user fees.
Why is it important for a young person to have a lawyer?
Young people should have a voice in proceedings affecting them. As well, a lawyer will ensure that a young person’s legal interests are considered by the Court.
What will a lawyer do?
A lawyer appointed through LRCY is only for the young person and no one else. The lawyer will:
Will the Judge do what the young person wants?
No, it is the Judge’s job to make the decision that he or she feels is in the young person’s best interest. So, while this may not be what the young person wants, the law says the young person’s views must be taken into account.
Can the young person say “no” to having a lawyer?
If the young person is 12 years of age or older, LRCY will speak to the young person to ensure he or she agrees before a lawyer is appointed, except in situations where the court has ordered it. If the court has ordered it, then it is mandatory that a lawyer be appointed.
How many legal appointments does LRCY make?
LRCY makes between 1,200 – 1,300 legal appointments each year, representing approximately 2,000 children and youth.