VANCOUVER - The Canadian Bar Association BC Branch (CBABC) recognizes today’s announcement by Attorney General Michael de Jong, QC and Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Brenner of new civil and family justice reforms as the result of extensive consultation. The new Civil and Family Rules seek to promote increased access to justice and to balance the interests and concerns of the legal community and those who need to access the justice system.
The CBABC has had representation on the BC Justice Review Task Force since its inception, and on each of the Working Groups established to review specific areas for improvement. Since the Civil Justice Reform Working Group of the Justice Review Task Force released its final report in November 2006, and the Rules Revision Committee released draft Family Rules in March 2008, CBABC Sections, Committees and individual members have made comprehensive submissions on the draft Rules.
The CBABC’s comprehensive submissions included input from the CBABC Supreme Court Rules Special Committee, Automobile Insurance Committee the Maritime Law Section and the Poverty Law Section.
A December 2008 CBABC BC Supreme Court Family Rules Working Group report made 107 recommendations in 123 pages after comprehensive analysis.
“There have been many different views within the profession about how access to justice is best achieved, however many of the major themes suggested in CBABC submissions appear to be reflected in the new Civil and Family Rules,” said CBABC President Miriam Maisonville. “The CBABC’s Special Committees on Civil and Family Court Rules Review will be reviewing the details of the new Rules, and will monitor implementation once they come into effect on July 1, 2010.”
“The legal profession is fully committed to ensuring that the civil justice system is responsive, accessible and cost-effective, and this has been the basis for all of our recommendations with respect to Rules reform. ” said Ms. Maisonville, “We are particularly pleased that the new Rules include the elimination of hearing fees for the first three days of court, which will improve access to justice for cases that can be resolved in shorter hearings.”
Please visit www.cba.org/BC/Initiatives/main/submissions.aspx to view CBABC submissions to the Civil Justice Reform Working Group of the BC Justice Review Task Force.
The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization responsible for representing the interests of more than 37,000 members in Canada, including 6,300 lawyers in British Columbia.