May23

The BC Supreme Court calls it like it is

Court ruling

The newspaper headline will talk about the BC Supreme Court finding that court fees are unconstitutional. The decision is 178 pages long, and we noticed that the Court’s website is down, so for the ease of our readers we’ve posted the entire judgment here (Vilardell v. Dunham).

The Court covers many of the problems we’ve discussed on our Vancouver Criminal Law blog. We like the way that these issues are expressed in the judgment. We will give a full analysis in the coming days. For now, here is a quote worth repeating.

[427] The Attorney General has a further role to play in explaining the function of the courts to government. The preservation of the core values of our Constitution including inclusiveness, equality and citizen participation are entrusted to the Attorney General as much as they are to the courts. In fact, given the passive institutional nature of the courts, the Attorney General holds the office best able to actively promote these values. It is therefore a matter of serious concern that the Attorney General has come to this Court with a submission that appears so dismissive of these fundamental aspects of our system of government.

As we have said numerous times, we do not think that the Attorney General understands her role.

UPDATE: If you go to the page listing Ministers in the BC Government, and try to follow the link to the biography of the Attorney General you will note that right now a blank page opens.

Given this Court decision, her position as AG seems untenable. This may be an indication that she is being dumped in a long-overdue cabinet shuffle.


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