The Vancouver Sun reported yesterday that the government of British Columbia has gone back on its decision to charge members of the public for access to criminal and traffic court records:
"The government began imposing a $6 fee on searches beginning Jan. 4. Additional charges applied if the searcher wanted to look at particular documents. "
"Defence lawyers complained about the added burden on them and their clients, while reporters argued that the fees impeded their ability to keep tabs on the courts. The government countered that it needed the revenue to recover the cost of placing documents online."
"[British Columbia Attorney General] De Jong, however, agreed to take another look at the issue following a Times Colonist series in February that exposed how B.C. courts routinely deny access to information that should be readily available to the public. One of the key recommendations from the series was that government consider reducing or eliminating online search fees."
Labels: access to information, access to justice, courts, government_British_Columbia