Today the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch (CBABC) released An Agenda for Justice, aimed at strengthening and improving British Columbia’s justice system.
An Agenda for Justice has been prepared in advance of BC’s provincial election to inspire public discussion of vital justice issues. The document offers a series of recommendations and reforms to increase the justice system’s effectiveness and to improve BC laws.
“An effective justice system actively supports families, communities and businesses to evolve and thrive,” said Michael Welsh, CBABC president. “People want practical laws to govern their affairs and fast, effective resolution of legal conflicts that interfere with their lives and businesses.”
An Agenda for Justice highlights many examples of everyday situations affecting people in BC. It provides recommended actions, some at no cost, that government can take to help people move more easily through a broad variety of circumstances which could bring them into contact with the legal system.
It groups issues into four key areas: Effective Access to Justice, Support for BC’s Families, Public Safety & Community Fairness, and Stability for Business. These areas are identified as being in need of additional government support to improve the capacity for fair and timely delivery of justice.
Among more than 30 recommended actions, CBABC calls for: increased funding for legal aid to help BC families in crisis find lasting resolutions; investments in specific resources that allow disputes to be resolved out of court and more quickly; more court staff to improve timely access to justice; addressing the over-representation of indigenous people in custody, prison and child protection; student loan forgiveness for new lawyers who practise in rural BC where access to lawyers is in crisis.
President Welsh continued, “CBABC’s goal is for justice issues to be discussed during the upcoming election and be included in the platforms of BC’s political parties.”
Anyone interested in justice issues is encouraged to reach out to candidates to brief them on An Agenda for Justice and help make justice issues a priority in the next provincial election.
For more information on An Agenda for Justice, please visit cbabc.org/A4J