BC Releases Part Two of Justice Reform Plan

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♫ Cause I feel like I’m in love with a technology…

Music, lyrics and recorded by Jessie J.

The BC Ministry of Justice has released its White Paper on Justice Reform, part Two.

The Report is broad and far-reaching. It is also innovative. It is aimed at providing a transparent, timely and balanced system. For example:

“The justice system must be transformed to that of a service culture, where citizen’s needs and outcomes are the focus, and investments in justice service align with best practices.”

There are five key themes of the report. These are:

  1. Timely and balanced justice: enhancing access to justice through early assistance
  2. Timely and balanced justice: delivering citizen-focused services
  3. Timely and balanced justice: ensuring smart choices at the start
  4. Timely and balanced justice: integrated approaches to protect citizens
  5. Timely and balanced justice: implementing programs based on what works

There is much to the report. Of interest to those who are following how Online Dispute Resolution is gradually being adopted world-wide is the following:

Civil Resolution Tribunal

Government passed legislation in May 2012 to allow the establishment of the Civil Resolution Tribunal and is now working to implement this alternative to court for people seeking to resolve small claims and most strata property disputes. The tribunal will encourage people to use a broad range of dispute resolution tools to resolve their disputes as early and efficiently as possible, while still preserving formal adjudication as a valued last resort. Canada’s first ‘online’ tribunal, the Civil Resolution Tribunal, will meet citizen needs by making the majority of dispute resolution services available online or by email, telephone, and video. In-person meetings and hearings will also be possible, but will be used only when necessary. These services represent an attempt to modernize the justice system through a focus on meeting citizen needs, user satisfaction, and continuous improvement through innovation.

Commitment: In 2013, government will appoint a Civil Resolution Tribunal chair and will invest in new technology to launch this service.

I for one believe in the potential for Online Dispute Resolution to play a role in modernizing the justice system using technology.

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