Submission to BC Supreme Court: Judicial Case Conferences

  • March 18, 2024

On March 18, 2024, CBABC delivered a letter to the Supreme Court of BC with recommendations to improve the availability and efficiency of Judicial Case Conferences. These recommendations were led by the CBABC Court Services Committee and Family Law Committee and informed by input from members provided in a ThoughtExchange.  

These are the recommendations:

1. Offer alternative registry locations and conference length options

  • Currently, litigants and counsel cannot set a JCC down in another registry without a court order despite earlier dates being available in other districts. Adopt a similar approach to chambers, which can be set anywhere in the judicial district.
  • Make the length of these conferences region-dependent to allow time to address more complex matters.

2. Enable virtual attendance options for all participants

  • Provide virtual options at the outset and without application for parties or lawyers who face travel, mobility or financial barriers. This should also be offered where there are family violence safety concerns.

3. Mandate advance submission of all required documents

  • Mandate a form akin to a “JCC brief” that outlines any settlements or proposals, and can be provided priorly to the opposing party and the presiding judge/associate judge to streamline the litigation process.
  • Introduce a Family Practice Direction or amendment to the Supreme Court Family Rules to mandate delivery of all required documents within a certain timeline – for example, seven days prior to the JCC.

CBABC notes that the recommendations are intended to enhance access to justice and support earlier resolution of family law matters. By reducing barriers including long wait times and cost, the family law system can better serve the needs of clients and lawyers alike.

Tagged Sections: Children's Law, Family Law - Fraser Valley, Family Law - Kamloops and 6 more..., Family Law - Okanagan, Family Law - Vancouver, General Practice - Lower Mainland, Solicitors' General Practice-Central Vancouver Island, BC Northwest Section, Family Law - Victoria Island