Pandemic-related backlogs in BC’s court system are being targeted by new measures.
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BC court system aiming to clear backlogs
Published 4:16 PDT, Tue July 28, 2020
The province is aiming to reduce pandemic-related backlogs in the court system through new measures.
Traffic court will be held at school sites and six new provincial court judges have been appointed. This includes the reappointment of three retired, senior provincial court judges who have agreed to return to help reduce backlogs.
On July 13, the provincial court began hearing some matters commenced by a violation ticket (including motor vehicle violation tickets) at locations outside of the usual provincial courthouses. The large number of people who attend traffic court and the number of cases that are heard required larger sites to permit social distancing requirements to be met.
With the assistance of the Court Services Branch and BC Sheriff Services, traffic court hearings are now proceeding at staggered times at alternative locations, including Kwantlen Polytechnic University and some secondary schools throughout the province. In other locations, these hearings are occurring on evenings and weekends when there are fewer people in the courthouses.
“The public health measures that have restricted access to physical courtrooms during the past few months have created a tremendous challenge for the judiciary, the legal profession and court services staff,” said Attorney General David Eby. “Using non-traditional locations for hearings, exploring ways for remote hearings and diversion out of court, and making technology more available—including basic technology like conference-style phones and high-speed internet—are all helping us support our judges to do the job they are constitutionally required to do.”
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