Canadian Bar Association British Columbia

February 08, 2012 19:14 ET

CBABC Reaffirms the Justice System Crisis Requires Immediate Resources in Order for Improvements That Will Allow Reform for the Medium and Long Term

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 8, 2012) - Sharon Matthews, President of the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch, commented on today's announcement of a review of the judicial system.

"For medium to long-term solutions, the CBABC welcomes the opportunity to participate in a justice system reform with a goal to creating efficiencies, while staying true to the principles of the rule of law: independence of the judiciary, access to justice and independence of the legal profession. The CBABC is particularly pleased to see the emphasis on an evidence-based review. There is data in the Green Paper Modernizing British Columbia's Justice System, released today, that will be invaluable to crafting effective solutions."

Ms. Matthews added, "Immediate funding is needed to clear the court backlogs, which have been created by past underfunding. The best reforms in the world, implemented months from now, cannot fix today's legal crisis and will not be effective until the backlogs are cleared. Improved legal aid coverage will have an immediate positive effect on delays, especially coupled with the recent appointment of provincial court judges. Restored crown counsel funding and court staffing levels are also critical."

The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization representing more than 38,000 lawyers, judges and law students in Canada, including 6,700 members in British Columbia.

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