B.C. will lose 2,500 criminal charges soon … and delays getting a drug dealers/criminals in front of a judge… means that justice has been delayed and denied under the B.C. Liberals.
Our Charter of Rights guarantee that those charged with a criminal offense, have the right to face their accusers in a reasonable amount of time. Our economy, largely due to the global recession and Liberal mismanagement, has resulted in an increase in criminal cases.
The BC Conservative Party, under John Cummins, have stated that our policy is to enable the RCMP to lay charges. This will speed up the process at the front end of the system, but we still will have a bottleneck in the courts.
We should press government to examine other jurisdictions that have Masters, Magistrates somewhat like the old TV show Night Court, a lower court that hears cases of minor or civil offences by a Master or Magistrate. These lower courts would deal with traffic cases, bail hearings, civil disputes and a variety of other court issues that could be dealt with under this “lower court” model. This would free up Judges to deal with important criminal matters that need juries and higher criminal matters – for felonies etc.
Using a Night Court model, these courts could operate 6 days a week 24 hours a day until such time as the bottle neck is resolved. We have the infrastructure already, our court rooms are empty most of the day, yet we have a backlog of 2,500 criminal cases in B.C.
It is common sense to institute a B.C. court night court system to address the problem.
The only other alternative is for police/prosecutors to turn a blind eye to some criminal activity – And this is not an acceptable alternative for law-abiding citizens that want safe streets, schools and playgrounds.
Jim Hart, Vernon