Legal Reform

The Legal Reform Project participates in activities and research that directly impacts individuals surviving poverty in our communities.  The goal of the Legal Reform Project is to create a forum where laws can be analyzed and criticized with a view to changing them in a way that protects the rights, and supports the needs, of the low-income community.


In the past, the Legal Reform Project has critiqued laws such as the proposed 'Anti-panhandling' bylaws that the City of Edmonton eventually did not pass.


If you have any questions about the Legal Reform Project, or are interested in having us help you research any laws, please contact us. Any research done by our volunteers is passed through our advising lawyers. 


Recent Projects: Record Suspension Program (Pardon) Reform

In 2016, the Parole Board of Canada was hosting an online consultation regarding its Record Suspension Program. The consultation provided members of the public an opportunity to give their input on the current application fee (around $630) and related service standards. 


Student Legal Services believes that the high application fee for a record suspension unnecessarily penalizes low-income Canadians by making the process inaccesible. Continuing to have a criminal record prevents former offenders from gaining meaningful employment, which would significantly improve their quality of life. This undermines the value of rehabilitation and reintegration, which are the very purposes of the record suspension program.


Student Legal Services urges the public to learn more about the current Record Suspension Program. It is important for the Parole Board of Canada to consider how the high application fee negatively impacts the majority of those who have been involved in the criminal system.