Attorney General responds to courtroom safety concerns

  • April 05, 2024

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.

Going forward, there are plans to enhance safety by:

  • Ensuring all lawyers understand the safety protocols 
  • Hiring/retaining more sheriffs  
  • Working with the police around courthouses to make sure appropriate security is in place 
  • Working with the judiciary to ensure a balance between safety and an open accessible courthouse 

In December 2023, CBABC issued a statement on courtroom safety, highlighting our concerns about recent incidents and emphasizing the need for all court participants to feel secure and free from threat while undertaking the important work of our justice system. 

In June 2023, CBABC delivered a submission to the Ministry of Citizens’ Services to endorse the Creating Safety in BC Courts Report, published by Rise Women’s Legal Centre. The report recommended modifying courthouses and court processes to advance the safety and protection of survivors of violence. 

Related links: 

BC Seriff Service Court Safety Brochure
CBABC - Statement from CBABC President on courtroom safety
CBABC - Response from Attorney General: Endorsement of Rise Report on Safety in BC Courts