Entries by mtp_admin

Judges Wrestle with Federally Mandated Surcharge on Offenders

Victoria provincial court judges are quietly doing an end run around the Harper government’s new mandatory surcharge to fund victim services. A new law that took effect in late October does not allow judges to waive the victim fine surcharge of 30 per cent of a fine or a flat fee of $100 or $200. […]

Comment: B.C. should mitigate minimum sentences

British Columbia’s attorney general should take steps to minimize the costs of federally mandated minimum sentences in the province. The federal government is responsible for passing criminal law, including the setting of penalties for particular offences. The provinces are responsible for the administration of justice, which includes the prosecution of criminal offences.

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 […]

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 […]