WHO WE ARE
The Association des juristes d'expression française de l'Alberta (AJEFA – French-speaking Lawyer's Association of Alberta) is a non-profit organization that was created in 1990 to promote access to justice in French in Alberta.
Up until 2001, the AJEFA was busy carrying out several projects in both Calgary and Edmonton, such as organizing mock trials, conferences and workshops; producing information material; publishing weekly columns on legal matters in Le Franco; and taking part financially in the Laskin Moot competition.
Due to lack of funding, the AJEFA was inactive for a few years but resumed its activities in 2005 after the provincial ACFA in partnership with the Fédération nationale des juristes d'expression française de Common Law (National French-speaking Lawyer's Association of Common Law) revived the association.
The role of the AJEFA is to inform Albertans of their rights and responsibilities by providing and delivering legal information to the general public and to special clienteles (schools, elders, newcomers, families...). It also aims at improving and facilitating access to justice and legal services in French in Alberta.
Moreover, the AJEFA aims at collaborating with Anglophone associations (e.g.: The Law Society of Alberta, judicial authorities) to bring awareness to the needs of the French-speaking Albertans to avoid overlaps.
NEW!! On April 30, 2015, the AJEFA has officially opened the first Alberta Legal Information Centre. This new initiative has been created to increase accessbility to the justice system and the public confidence in judicial institutions. Located at La Cité francophone of Edmonton, the Centre is providing legal information, support and referral services with regard to clients' legal questions. These services are provided in French or English, in person or remotely, free of charge and in addition to existing resources. Funded by the Department of Justice Canada, the creation of the Centre is the result of a close collaboration between francophone and anglophone stakeholders. For further information, please visit www.infojuri.ca.
MISSION AND GOALS
The AJEFA's mission is to facilitate access to judicial services in French and to promote the use of French in the administration of justice in Alberta.
- Develop and coordinate public legal education and information programs
- Promote the use of French within the Alberta legal system and ensure the equality of both official languages before the courts
- Ensure active offer and delivery of legal services in French in Alberta
- Inform the general public of their rights to access legal services in the language of their choice
WHO ARE OUR MEMBERS?
The AJEFA has more than a hundred active members who are part of the justice system. They may be judges, lawyers, clerks of the court, articling students, law students, future paralegals, mediators, translators, court interpreters, librarians, legal assistants, policemen, bailiffs, sheriffs, social workers, court reporters, etc.
Our members play an important role in our association: they supervise the staff in the production of public legal education material. They can also sit on various advisory committees, offer workshops free of charge, etc.
PROJECTS AND SERVICES
The AJEFA demonstrates great efficiency and expertise when carrying out projects to inform Albertans about their rights and responsibilities. Here are a few examples:
- Francophone Legal Clinic offers free legal information for low-income French-speaking people. It also helps individuals who have legal problems in the following areas: Landlord and Tenant, Employment, Small Claims, Traffic Law, Human Rights, Debt, and Immigration.
- Public Legal Education Workshops for the general public and special clienteles (schools, elders, families, newcomers) on their rights and responsibilities in various legal areas, such as Employment, Human Rights, Elder Abuse, Family Law, Immigration, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom, Mediation, Conflict Resolution, Wills and Successions, Language Rights, Careers in Justice...
- Conflict Resolution Programs in Schools in partnership with Institut Pacifique. These programs aim at developing conflict resolution and mediation skills among children 4 to 17 age bracket.
- Elder Justice Theatre to inform seniors of their rights and responsibilities in various areas: Marriage and Divorce, Employment, Agism, Driver's License, Travelling out of the Country, and Grandparents' Rights.
- Youth Justice Theatre to raise awareness and motivate schools and communities to discuss causes, impacts and consequences of bullying.
- Youth and Street Gangs Prevention Program in partnership with Projet ESPOIR et Projet APPARTENANCE, two projects of Mental Health Capacity Building in Schools Initiative. It provided educational material to schools about the realities youth may face (gangs, peer pressure, cyberbullying, social involvement, violence, conflict with the law).
- Pan-Canadian Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy including the AJEFs of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario. This project aims at publishing booklets on elder abuse and how to prevent it, offering workshops on senior rights and developing a restorative justice approach to elder abuse program in French.
We offer a wide range of services in our resource centre and produce a variety of legal education publications and a quarterly newsletter. We organize a variety of activities to celebrate Law Day, Anti-Bullying Day, Will Week, and so on.
PAST AND CURRENT FINANCIAL PARTNERS
Alberta Restorative Justice Association
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
City of Edmonton
Farm Credit Canada
Francophone Secretariat (Government of Alberta)
Human Rights Education and Multiculturalism Fund (Government of Alberta)
Language Rights Support Program
New Horizons for Seniors Program (Government of Canada)
Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes (Government of Québec)
Servus Credit Union
The AJEFA succeeded in partnering with the following Francophone and Anglophone organizations:
ACFA and its regional branches
Alberta Law Libraries
Alliance Jeunesse-Famille de l'Alberta Society
Avant tout les enfants
Big Brothers Big SistersCANAF Calgary
Centre d'accueil et d'établissement du Nord de l'Alberta
Centre for Public Legal Education Alberta
Conseil scolaire Centre-Est
Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord
Conseil scolaire Francosud
Family Law Information Centre
Fédération des ainés et ainées francophones du Canada
Fédération des ainés franco-albertains and its affiliated clubs
Institut Guy-Lacombe de la famille
La Fondation franco-albertaine
Law Society of Alberta
Legal Aid Alberta
Legal Education Society of Alberta
Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre
SPEFSA – Calgary
Student Legal Services of Edmonton
Board of Directors
According to the AJEFA's by-laws, the Board of Directors is made up of 10 people: Bianca Kratt, LLB (president), Justin Kingston, LLB (vice-president), Gabriel Joshee-Arnal, LLB (treasurer), Shannon James, LLB, Kim Arial, LLB, Joël Michaud, LLB, Carole Aippersbach, LLB and Anita St-Georges. The directors are elected every year during the Annual General Meeting.
Fernande Bergeron – Executive Director
Ali Rachid - Director (Alberta Legal Information Centre)
Mélanie Capton - Administrative Assistant
Isabelle Déchène-Guay – Project Manager
Ida Ituze – Legal Officer (Alberta Legal Information Centre)
Brigitte Etien – Legal Assistant (Alberta Legal Information Centre)
8627, rue Marie-Anne-Gaboury (91st Street)
Edmonton AB T6C 3N1