Statement from CBABC President on courtroom safety

  • December 19, 2023


In an April 4 letter to CBABC, the Attorney General addressed members’ concerns regarding the safety of courtroom participants across B.C. The Attorney General noted that violence or threats of violence are never acceptable and that the BC Sheriff Service is present to maintain safety. Court participants are encouraged to report any incidents that occur outside of the courthouse to law enforcement and the sheriffs, who can then create a personalized safety plan.

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CBABC is concerned about the recent reporting of a person carrying a firearm into a BC courtroom. In addition, two lawyers defending an accused in a high-profile murder case received threats of violence. These reports should be deeply troubling to all British Columbians.

Our justice system is based on the principle that an accused is innocent until proven guilty. Criminal defence lawyers have a duty to defend their clients and ensure that their constitutional and legal rights are protected. All court participants, including prosecutors, defence lawyers, judges and the public, should feel secure and be free from threat while undertaking the important work of our justice system.

CBABC will continue to advocate for courtroom safety, including consultation with the Court Services Branch to ensure lawyers are aware of what to do if they feel their safety or that of their clients is at risk.

Media Contact:
Melissa Shaw, Communications & Media Coordinator
604.687.5293 |