Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia

May 08, 2009 10:15 ET

Justice Issues Loom in Election

Party Responses to Questionnaire on Justice Issues: Liberals favour proposals to restrict rights through rule changes in civil and family law; NDP opposed; Green Party mixed

Attention: Assignment Editor, City Editor, News Editor, Photo Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor VANCOUVER / BRITISH COLUMBIA / NEWS RELEASE--(Marketwire - May 8, 2009) - Responses from BC parties to a pre-election questionnaire sent by the Trial Lawyers Association of BC (TLABC) show that the BC Liberals continue to favour restricting legal rights for individuals in civil court cases, a move not embraced by the Green Party and clearly opposed by the NDP.

"While justice issues should be above politics, when politicians seek to change the ground rules for court cases so as to favour one side over another, we should all be concerned. The proposals the government is embracing will make court cases take longer and cost more. Those changes will curtail the ability of individuals and consumers to get at the truth and hold corporations, governments and other institutions to account," said TLABC president Robert Holmes.

In their response to the TLABC questionnaire, the BC Liberals say they are going to push ahead with the proposed rule changes. The NDP says it opposes them. The Green Party provides a mixed response, saying it opposes curtailing a person's right to get at the truth, but wants to study how cases get managed.

The BC Liberals add that they regard current funding for legal aid in BC as "generous." Both the NDP and the Green Party say they would commit significantly more money toward rebuilding legal aid and family-law resources.

TLABC President Holmes concluded: "Access to justice is a fundamental right. Whether it is high court fees, taxes on legal services, cutbacks to legal aid and court staffing, closures of courthouses or rules that make the process take longer and cost more, unreasonable measures that interfere with people getting their day in court should be eliminated. We are committed to continue bringing to public attention information about justice issues in this province. We will - at every turn - encourage people to urge public officials to protect and preserve our rights to justice. More information on these matters is located at"

Contact Information

  • Bentley Doyle, Director of Communications, Trial Lawyers Association of British Columbia
    Primary Phone: 604-682-5343 ext. 302
    Toll-Free: 888-558-5222