British Columbia’s justice system must transform itself from a “culture of delay” to a “culture of timeliness,” the head of a government-ordered review says.
Geoffrey Cowper, a lawyer with
Fasken Martineau, made dozens of recommendations in a report of 270-plus
pages issued on Thursday. Premier Christy Clark appointed Mr. Cowper in
February to lead the legal-sector review of the justice system after
excessive delays caused more than 100 cases to be stayed last year and
endangered thousands more.
However, the government did not commit immediately to act on his recommendations.
Cowper proposes a province-wide plan to reduce crime, and measures that
would revise how prosecutors handle cases and resolve them sooner. His
primary aim, he said, is reducing delays and backlogs, and he suggests a
system to track cases to prevent them from being stalled.
consultations, there’s really one topic on which there appears to be
universal agreement: the system works too slowly,” Mr. Cowper told
reporters in a news conference at a downtown Vancouver hotel. “People
also agree that delay undermines all of the goals of the justice