A recent report from the CBA recommends the courts get more funding and staffing
We would like to start by saying that the criminal justice system in British Columbia (and across Canada) has done a remarkable job in keeping Canada one of the world’s safest nations in which to live. We commend their work. That being said, lack of funding and overworked staff have plagued our province’s legal system for years, which in turn has lead to unfair treatment for many of B.C’s citizens. This is something our law firm has been dedicated to fighting against.
A recent report by the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) has only echoed what we’ve known all along. The report, “An Agenda For Justice” spells out some recommended improvements. We’d like to take a look at what they found and how it affects our clients. Though the CBA focused on improving services for indigenous people, the improvements apply to all B.C citizens.
B.C courts are facing serious issues
The report found that the B.C court system was facing serious issues, mostly in the realm of staffing and court services. Members of the B.C Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) reported that many of their members said “their workplaces are under-resourced”. This has made doing their jobs even more difficult. The BCGEU is citing the report in its effort to receive more funding for legal aid and court services for BC citizens.
Recommendations for improvements
The report has recommend many areas for improvement. A few of which are:
● Increased funding for family law legal aid
● Increased funding for staffing
● Increased funding for B.C’s Family Justice Centres
● Providing more culturally diverse programming in prisons
● Expanding the First Nations Court Program
These improvements would help the legal system better serve the people and help make interaction with the justice system smoother.
How it could affect you
No system of government is perfect, but this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of difficulties in the B.C system of criminal justice. Understaffing, lack of funding, and lack of understanding of diverse cultures could lead to serious issues with the court system and police when interacting with the citizens of this province. A broken system could easily lead to wrongful convictions or violations of your rights.
The CBA has found that the B.C legal system is in need of serious improvement, especially when it comes to staffing and funding. Due to the difficulties in dealing with the criminal justice system in the province, it’s important that you get proper legal representation when you’ve been charged with crime.
At Sicotte & Henry, our legal team has a combined 50 years of experience dealing with the legal system in this area. Don’t take on the courts alone.