A Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century was released on 30th of august 2012 by Vancouver lawyer Geoffrey Cowper.
The review was ordered by Premier Christy Clark in February, to deal with delays and backlogs in the court.
270-page report, Cowper
says the criminal justice system has failed to meet public expectations in terms of timeliness, the absence of a provincewide plan for improving public safety, and the failure to incorporate modern methods of management and administration.
does not make any recommendation about the general funding level for the criminal justice system.
does suggest an additional five judges be appointed to the provincial court.
Geoffrey Cowper, senior counsel at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, was appointed chairman of the B.C. Justice Reform Initiative.
277-page report calls for systemic change within the justice system.
calls out a â€œculture of delayâ€ that continues to plague the criminal justice system and create backlogs in the courts.
â€œThe culture of delay in the court system is resistant to change because there are several benefits to those working within the system that are gained from delay and no accepted means of enforcing timeliness as a priority.
To change this culture we must fundamentally change the incentives that apply to the parties and provide the right tools to the right participants to make timeliness a necessity and not an option,â€ he
does admit there has been some reduction in that backlog recently, but cases are still not being resolved in a timely manner.
calls for the appointment of five new judges to help with the backlogs.
â€œWe have to move to measures that happen in respect of days and weeks of time, not months and years of time,â€ he
While Bond said: â€œWe agree with Mr. Cowper
that the criminal justice system moves too slowly.
This report shows that the issue of timeliness in the justice system is critical for all justice partners - and for the public.
British Columbia, like other jurisdictions, has a crime rate that is dropping, while experiencing increasing delays in cases,â€ the province made no commitments.
department will be digesting the three reports and come out with its own report in the fall to address Cowperâ€™s recommendations.
proposes a number of wide-ranging reforms including a province-wide crime reduction plan, measures to resolve criminal cases earlier and reduce the number of delays and backlogged cases and a major overhaul of how prosecutors handle files.
The provincial government appointed lawyer Geoffrey Cowper in February to conduct a review of the province's justice system.
That announcement came as a growing list of cases were thrown out because of delays and at least two judges used their rulings to criticize what they complained was a lack of resources in the system.
was given until the end of July to consult with lawyers, judges, the police and others involved in the justice system, as well as members of the public, and submit his
report to the provincial government.
hasn't revealed much about what he
might recommend, but he
suggested in June that reducing pre-trial appearances would go a long way towards tackling court backlog.
also called for a "cultural recognition'' within the justice system that timeliness should be a top priority.