One of the crime scenes

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Never on a Friday

What's going on in the world of justice? Apparently the four day week has become the norm. This week two fairly significant trials got underway, the Libby trial in Washington DC and the Pickton trial in New Westminister. Both trials went all the way from Monday through Thursday. I don't want to seem mean or demanding, but when did Friday become part of the weekend?

From this observer's vantage point justice is a commodity that is becoming further out of reach, especially to the average person, almost weekly. Let's just reflect upon the way the so-called Liberal government closed numerous courtrooms shortly after becoming king for how ever long they can avoid going to jail themselves. In a jurisdiction (namely the province of BC) with a growing population, how can one justify reducing the venues for the people to seek justice?

The above doesn't even take into consideration the article by Ian Mulgrew that BC Mary points us to decrying the complexity of legal proceedings today. As BC Mary links to here
perhaps the whole system has just become too complicated to work.

Ian Mulgrew the Vancouver Sun that it's the Canadian legal system, not just Willy Pickton, on trial. He says that the guilt or innocence of Pickton is not the only question to be answered ... that "systemic, structural reforms have not kept pace with other advances over the last century" ... that "Canada's legal system has not changed significantly from its 19th century roots". It can't handle 21st century crime. I've wondered about that, too ... the documents in the BCRail case totalling over 100,000 and counting.

Nor would a 19th century trial be subjected to 350 journalists obsessed with the shock-value of the Pickton case. My concern is that the Pickton trial may prevent the BC Rail trial from receiving even the minimum of public attention, by flooding the news media with emotional, stomach-churning publicity when the BCRail Trial begins on April 2nd.

Mr. Mulgrew compares the idea of a nineteenth century doctor arriving in a modern operating room to that of a contemporary lawyer appearing in a court of today. It's pretty obvious that the doctor would be much more out of his depth, while the lawyer might actually just grin and say, wow, we've certainly made progress at ruling the world.

I know that people involved in the administration of justice do more than one sees in court, the attorneys for the prosecution and defence and the judges both have duties that take place outside the courtroom. But the thing is, we the people pay for the courtroom to be built, maintained etc. and as one of those people, I don't see why the courtroom can't be put to use at least five or maybe even six days a week. People have to wait so long to go to court that often they die before their case is dealt with.

Of course I guess if your hourly rate is in three figures, you don't really need to work five days a week.


Blogger BC Mary said...

Hi Koot,

Nice to see your words pushing up through the snow like crocuses, and just as welcome.

Was wondering how you feel about the impact of the Pickton trial as compared to the upcoming BCRail trial on 2nd April ... do you think BCRail will get the attention it deserves?

Sunday, January 28, 2007 at 10:28:00 AM PST  

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