Legal Representation of Children in Canada

9. Summary

This paper focused on answering the question: When is legal representation available for children in Canada? In short, the answer to that question is that legal representation is almost always available to children accused of a crime, it is sometimes available to children who are the subject of child protection proceedings and to children whose parents are engaged in a custody and access battle, and rarely available to children outside of these areas. Provincial legislation on the legal representation of children varies enormously, with certain provinces (e.g. Alberta and Ontario) having more developed systems than others. There are few guidelines for lawyers who represent children, and the proper role for the child’s lawyer continues to be debated.

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