Sean Leslie | Email news tips to Sean
It's a system in crisis and it needs money, that's the upshot of a new report on the justice system by the BC Government Employees Union and the BC Civil Liberties Association.
Contrary to government claims this report says there are more cases going through the courts even as funding has been cut.
For example, Civil Liberties Association President Robert Holmes says thousands of people are now representing themselves in court because legal aid has been cut, so cases that might have been plead out are now stuck in the system.
He said "instead goes the distance but the crown and the judge having to walk on egg shells to make sure that they were doing somebody else's job as well their own, and the process takes longer and then the government is surprised that it takes longer?"
Holmes also scoffs at the government's focus on making court-rooms more "efficient."
He said "15% more cases are being put through albeit with some that are taking longer and a backlog of cases that exist, but with the numbers that have gone in that direction, there must be some efficiencies that have been achieved by the very lawyers and judges that the government is trying in a not so subtle way to take potshots at."
The report also recommends more mental health care funding to keep people out of the justice system in the first place.
The report says it would take over $200 million in new funding just to get back to 2001 levels.