Community Legal Assistance Society - BC Judicial Review Self-Help Guide


“Authorities” are the laws that the judge will apply to decide your case. The laws made by the government are called “legislation” or “statutes”. Judges also follow the decisions made by other judges in similar cases. The written decisions made by judges in other cases are often called “cases” or “case law”.

The Workers’ Compensation Board (WorksafeBC) also makes policies about WCB benefits that could apply to your case. If your case is about getting WCB benefits, most of these policies will be in WorksafeBC’s Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual, volume II.

If you plan to refer to any authorities at the judicial review hearing, you will need to print them and bring them to court.  You can find statutes and cases on  Canlii, which is a free legal database.

Putting all the authorities together

Judges really like it when the parties put all the authorities from everyone together in one binder (or something all bound together) called a “Joint Book of Authorities”.  You should talk to the other parties, or their lawyers, to see if everyone can agree on who will be in charge of putting together the Joint Book of Authorities. You will then send that person a list of the authorities you want to have in the Joint Book of Authorities. The party putting together the Joint Book of Authorities will make enough copies for everyone and the judge, and then give everyone a copy of the Joint Book of Authorities sometime before the hearing starts.

Usually the person who filed the petition is the one who makes the Joint Book of Authorities.  But if you are representing yourself, it is likely not realistic for you to be in charge of the Joint Book of Authorities, especially if the lawyer for WCAT is going to refer to a lot of cases, so someone else may choose to do it.

If the parties cannot agree on having one person do the Joint Book of Authorities, then you will have to take care of your own authorities. If you only have a few authorities, you can just hand them to the court clerk to give to the judge as you refer to them at the hearing. But in most cases it is best to put them together in a binder with tabs and an index, which will be your own “Book of Authorities”. Either way, you will need to make enough copies of your authorities, or book of authorities, for you, the judge, and each of the other parties.

Authorities do not need to be filed with the court registry ahead of time, just bring them to the hearing.

This is a blank book of authorities index that you can download and fill in: Blank Book of Authorities Index
This is an example book of authorities index that you can use as a guide: Example Book of Authorities Index

This website, or, is produced for educational purposes only. This website has information on common situations, but does not cover all possible situations. You should not rely on this website as legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should get legal advice on your particular situation.

This website may contain inaccurate or misleading information. The law, including statutes, regulations, court rules, court practices, and court precedents can change without warning and those changes may not be reflected in this website. The Community Legal Assistance Society, its funders, its authors, its contributors, its editors, and the distributors of this website are not responsible for ensuring this website is up-to-date, ensuring the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in this website, or any form of damages or monetary loss caused by or attributed to the use of this website, including but not limited to claims based on negligence or breach of contract.

Site by the Community Legal Assistance Society. Content available under Creative Commons CC BY-NC licence. This guide is made possible by funding from the British Columbia Ministry of Justice and the Law Foundation of British Columbia. This guide was originally produced by David Mossop, Q.C.
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