BC Justice Review Task Force

BC Justice Review Task Force

June 20, 2008 12:40 ET

BC Justice Review Task Force-Consultation Period Extended for New Civil Rules

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 20, 2008) - The consultation period on proposed new B.C. Supreme Court rules of civil procedure has been extended, William M. Everett, Q.C., and Chair of the Justice Review Task Force, said today. The draft rules are designed to make the civil justice system more affordable and accessible.

"We need new rules of procedure in order to help reduce the costs of a lawsuit," said Everett. "The cost of either pursuing or defending lawsuits is far more than the average British Columbian or small business owner can afford."

In November 2006, the civil justice reform working group issued a report recommending that a new set of Supreme Court rules for civil cases be drafted, to ensure that cases can be resolved without excessive delay and at a cost that is affordable. A proposed new set of rules was drafted based on the principles outlined in the report, and was released for extensive consultation around the province and via the Internet through 2007.

"We have drawn on a high level of knowledge and expertise from within the profession and judiciary to draft the new rules," Everett said. "And we were very pleased to receive feedback from a broad range of interested parties - lawyers, judges, bar associations, law schools, experts, chambers of commerce, business, service clubs, and other organizations. The draft rules were significantly revised based on their feedback."

The Law Society of British Columbia recognizes the need for reform and asked for more time to review the draft rules, as have the Judges of the Supreme Court and others. For this reason, the Justice Review Task Force has extended the consultation period to December 31, 2008.

The latest draft of the proposed new civil rules is available at www.bcjusticereviewforum.ca/civilrules/. Included on the site is background information for those working in the legal profession, and a fact sheet and questions and answers for the general public. Comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to civilrules@bcjusticereviewforum.ca. Information about the B.C. Justice Review Task Force is available at www.bcjusticereview.org/.

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