The British Columbia government introduced new civil and family court rules
today in an effort to lower costs and increase access to the court system.
The new rules were developed after a broad consultation carried out by the Justice Review Task Force. The Task Force, created in 2002, included senior representatives from the BC Supreme Court, BC Provincial Court, Law Society of BC, Canadian Bar Association, and the government.
As part of that initiative, the Task Force formed the Civil Justice Reform Working Group which issued its report, Effective and Affordable Civil Justice
, in November 2006, and the Family Justice Reform Working Group which issued its report, A New Justice System for Families and Children
, in May 2005.
Among today's changes to the rules:
- the Province will provide up to three days of trial time before litigants are required to pay court fees
- oral examinations for discovery will be limited
- exchange of documents that are not directly relevant to a case will be limited
- parties will have the option of having a judge set time limits on litigation events
- there will be a new fast track process when the amount in dispute is $100,000 or less
More details can be found on the site of the British Columbia Justice Review Forum
Labels: access to justice, courts, government_British_Columbia, litigation