Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton says the number of cases thrown out of court due to time delays has significantly dropped in the past four years.
In 2012, a report penned by Vancouver lawyer Geoffrey Cowper called for a major overhaul in the criminal justice system.
Speaking to mark Access to Justice Week, Anton says the public should know that improvements are being made when it comes to trial timeliness.
“Four years ago, there were 120 cases discontinued. This year, to date, in British Columbia, there has only been 13 cases discontinued so that’s a significant reduction and shows a more effective justice system”
Earlier this year, the Supreme Court issued new rules for what can be considered reasonable delay, setting the time limits at 18 months for provincial courts and 30 months for superior courts.
Anton admits that despite the improvement, there’s no guaranteeing what will happen with any particular case.
“That’s a significant reduction. Now I’m not saying that there won’t be more cases in the future but the criminal justice branch is much better positioned to monitor the cases as a result of the advice.”
Just last month, 15 charges of theft and fraud against a BC man were thrown out due to unreasonable delays.