Department of Justice Canada

Department of Justice Canada

November 30, 2011 15:41 ET

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE/Government of Canada Provides Funding to Support Use of Both Official Languages in the Justice System

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 30, 2011) - This document corrects and replaces the release issued today at 3:00 PM EST.

The Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced $128,500 in funding to the University of Manitoba Faculty of Law to strengthen and promote the use of both official languages in Canada's justice system.

"Law schools play an active role in training law students in the use of both official languages in the practice of the law," said Minister Nicholson. "This funding from the Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund will help ensure that law students are provided with a French curriculum, allowing them the option to practise in French."

With this funding, the Faculty of Law of the University of Manitoba will provide a program containing mandatory and optional courses in French for law students interested in mastering French legal terminology. The program will also help law students develop legal knowledge in French and the skill to practice law in French.

In 2009, the Canada-Wide Analysis of Official Language Training Needs in the Area of Justice revealed legal training was an area deserving particular attention. While a majority of lawyers in Canada receive their common law training in English and their civil law training in French, a few of the country's lawyers can receive their training in the French-language common law program and the English-language civil law program. This funding will provide more opportunities for students to take common law courses in French.

The Department of Justice's $41-million Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund helps build official languages capacity across Canada. The Fund is an integral part of the Government's Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, 2008-2013: Acting for the Future.

More information about the fund can be found at http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pb-dgp/prog/olsf-fajlo.html.

(Version française disponible)

BACKGROUNDER: GOVERNMENT OF CANADA SUPPORT FOR LINGUISTIC DUALITY

Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, 2008-2013: Acting for the Future

In June 2008, the Government of Canada released the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future. This Roadmap demonstrates the government's commitment to linguistic duality and to the vitality of official-language minority communities. This unprecedented, government-wide investment of $1.1 billion over five years, divided among 14 departments and federal agencies, will encourage linguistic duality among Canadians, and offer support to official-language minority communities with increased government support in five priority areas: health, justice, immigration, economic development, and arts and culture.

More information about the Roadmap can be found at http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/slo-ols/strat-eng.cfm

Access to Justice in Both Official Languages Support Fund

This fund was created in 2003 to increase the capacity of justice system professionals to develop their skills in both official languages. It also offers solutions on official languages issues and heightens awareness of the importance of official language rights in the legal community.

The Support Fund currently benefits from a $41-million investment extending to March 31, 2013. This amount includes new funding of $20 million to increase linguistic training efforts for people already working in the justice system, as well as to train and recruit young bilingual Canadians who show an interest in justice-related careers. The fund is part of the Government's investment under the Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality, 2008-2013: Acting for the Future.

The Canada-Wide Analysis of Official Language Training Needs in the Area of Justice

This analysis was carried out in 2009 to allow the Department of Justice to best channel the new investment provided under the Roadmap. It found that the legal training currently available in Canada's law schools was an area deserving particular attention. The study also suggested that law schools could be asked to play a much more active role in training law students to use both official languages in the practice of law. This expanded role would more truly reflect the language profile of the young Canadians who enrol in law schools, a growing number of whom are already bilingual. Only three Canadian universities already offer law programs in the second language. The analysis concluded that the country's law schools should consider offering courses aimed specifically at developing proficiency in legal vocabulary in both languages.

According to the Canada-Wide Analysis, Canada is well known for its unilingual law programs, offered in one of the official languages. While a majority of lawyers in Canada receive their common law training in English and their civil law training in French, a few of the country's lawyers can receive their training in the French-language common law program and the English-language civil law program. This official languages support funding will provide law students with the opportunity to study and practise common law in French.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Justice
    Julie Di Mambro
    Press Secretary
    613-992-4621

    Department of Justice
    Media Relations
    613-957-4207
    Internet : www.canada.justice.gc.ca