Given the opportunity, what would you ask the Chief Judge of a Canadian court?
In what is certainly a Canadian-first, Chief Judge Crabtree of the BC Provincial Court hosting a live Twitter Town Hall on BC Law Day, April 14, 2016 from 1-3pm Pacific Time.
Tweet your questions to #AskChiefJudge and follow the hashtag.
A new standard of engagement
While certainly unique, this effort seems a natural progression from the offline and online work this particular court has done to engage with the legal community and public at large.
The B.C. legal community will be very familiar with the extensive and transformative change that has been coming out of the Provincial Court of B.C. under Chief Judge Crabtree’s leadership and 7 year tenure. Over the past year, those of us on the other side of the Rockies started to get a glimpse as the court began to demonstrate a passion for digital outreach and a flair for blogging and Twitter engagement.
If you haven’t yet, you really must check out their e-news site and begin following @BCProvCourt. Both deliver useful and often fascinating content in a very human voice. The Twitter account in particular shows a genuine interest in the stories it finds and shares, and in the accounts that follow it.
In a couple recent examples, the Court’s Twitter account drew its follower’s attention to a great blog post from Melanie Hodges Neufeld of the Law Society of Saskatchewan’s #legalsourcery team about the duty of defence counsel, as well as to its own post about a webinar one of its judges gave on addressing issues of PTSD within the justice system. Moreover, the court’s Twitter account routinely reaches out to welcome new follower – often in a tweet that includes a link thought to be potentially of interest to that new follower!
The questions are already coming in
Through its Twitter account, the Court has been actively promoting the event, suggesting tough topics as well as inviting advance participation, and the questions are starting to roll in. Some examples:
— Lorne MacLean, Q.C. (@bcfamilylaw) April 8, 2016
— LCC DomBautista (@LCCDomBautista) April 7, 2016
#AskChiefJudge 3% of women are Indigenous, 38% of women in prison are Indigenous, WHY SUCH EXTREME PREJUDICE IN THE APPLICATION OF THE LAW?
— Settlersinfo (@Settlersinfo) April 6, 2016
— Mainly M (@Mainly_M) March 30, 2016
I’m probably not alone in wanting to see more of this type of engagement from courts across the country, so I encourage all Slaw readers to help make this a successful event.