Legal-aid dispute threatens hundreds of criminal trials

Legal-aid lawyers across B.C. are threatening to adjourn hundreds of criminal trials if they can’t reach a funding agreement with government.

The lawyers plan to adjourn six weeks of criminal cases, from shoplifting to murders, in courtrooms across the province from Oct. 7 to 10, if the Legal Services Society of B.C. can’t reach a deal with the Attorney General.

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Editorial: Make courts more efficient

The budget crunch facing the Justice Ministry is evidence of the need to get on with overhauling B.C.’s justice system. A system that handles cases reasonably quickly and efficiently will not only be more fair and effective, but will also be less costly.

And the Herculean task of cutting expenses would be significantly easier if the federal government had not imposed mandatory minimum sentences.

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