VICTORIA - Geoffrey Cowper, QC, delivered his second interim report to Justice Minister and Attorney General Shirley Bond today, moving towards the final stage of his independent and comprehensive review of B.C.'s justice system.
In his update, Cowper indicates that he has been focused on obtaining concrete suggestions for reform and has had extensive discussions around both proposals for reform and priorities for implementation. The report is available on his website - www.bcjusticereform.ca.
Since appointed as chair of the justice reform initiative in February, Cowper has conducted in-person and telephone consultation sessions throughout the province and received submissions - hand-delivered, via his website, and by email and surface mail - from more than 100 institutional stakeholders and members of the public. He has also reviewed justice reform strategies, reports and initiatives from other jurisdictions, such as Alberta, Manitoba, Australia and the United Kingdom, to aid him in his analysis of B.C.'s justice system.
Cowper has been asked by the B.C. government to identify barriers to timely criminal justice and measures to improve the system's outcomes. Cowper will deliver his final report to government before the end of July 2012. To ensure that his report is as comprehensive and inclusive as possible, Cowper will continue to receive public and stakeholder submissions until June 30, 2012. British Columbians are invited to share their ideas about justice reform and participate in the recently launched online survey on Cowper's website, as well as to sign up to receive notifications when there are new blog entries or reports posted.
Cowper will be available from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. today to speak with media about the justice reform initiative.
- The B.C. government invests over $1 billion annually in public safety and the justice system.
- In the past six years crime in B.C. has dropped 33 per cent, and is 45 per cent lower than its all time high in 1991.
- Expenditures on adult criminal justice personnel and processes have increased by 35 per cent since 2005.
- The number of new Provincial Court adult criminal and youth cases has declined, but the average amount of court time to conclude them has increased.
- The length of time to conclude adult and youth criminal cases has remained stable.
- The length of time people wait on remand for their trial is increasing.
- B.C.'s justice system employs more than 15,000 highly trained people.
View the interim report and give your ideas about how to improve the justice system on the British Columbia Justice Reform Initiative here: www.bcjusticereform.ca
Read the B.C. government's Green Paper, "Modernizing B.C.'s Justice System", here:
Read the news release about the B.C. government's justice system reform initiative here:
To see current court and caseload information, visit the data dashboard at:
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice
Justice Reform Initiative