In September, CBABC made a submission to the BC Supreme Court entitled Modernizing the Supreme Court of British Columbia’s Scheduling System for Civil Matters.
The Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court has considered this submission and provided a letter in response on November 15, 2021. In his reply, Chief Justice Hinkson acknowledged the frustration of court users in scheduling matters before the Supreme Court. The Court remains receptive of recommendations to use technological solutions to minimize delays:
“The Court is presently attempting to create a more accessible and equitable online booking system for long chambers and trials throughout the province. Online booking systems are also being devised for Judicial Case Conferences and Case Planning Conferences and will likely be available more immediately.”
He further states what is urgently needed is an increase in the Court’s judicial resources, noting that there are currently ten vacancies to fill. Lawyers considering a career on the bench should apply here.
CBABC members have consistently linked the current call-in scheduling system to ongoing access to justice problems in B.C. Recommendations to address this concern were included in Agenda for Justice 2021.