The City of Nanaimo will be joining more than 50 local governments using an adjudication system piloted eight years ago and offered through the Ministry of Justice.
The adjudication system saves time and money and makes efficient use of court resources, as it eliminates the roles of court and court registries in the administration and hearing of these disputes.
Another unique aspect of the adjudication system is that each local government determines what bylaws they want covered. For instance, some smaller communities might not have to deal with parking violations so they can focus the system to deal with bylaws specific to their area.
As part of ongoing reform to the justice system, the B.C. government is increasing the number of alternative ways to resolve disputes without requiring individuals to use the courts, which can reduce stress, shorten the time required to resolve disputes, and ultimately cut costs for both the individual and taxpayer.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond -
"Taking a matter to court can be a lengthy process and this system saves people time and helps reduce pressure on the courts without increasing costs to taxpayers. This will allow Nanaimo to join more than 50 other local governments who currently use this process."
Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan -
"Bylaw adjudication is a win-win for both our residents and the city. It will make it simpler for people who get tickets to deal with them either by payment or challenge and it will lessen the time the city has to spend in court defending the tickets."
- More than 50 local governments throughout British Columbia are currently using or are in the process of developing a bylaw dispute adjudication system.
- Disputes range from parking tickets to dog licensing and minor zoning infractions.
- The City of North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver and District of West Vancouver were the first in B.C. to establish a bylaw adjudication system as part of a 2004 pilot project.
- Individual municipalities track the number of bylaws managed by the adjudication process and they have screening officers assist prior to the formal adjudication. The overall process will have had several thousand matters resolved and adjudicated since the inception of the program.
- Independent adjudicators are appointed by the deputy attorney general.
- The qualifications are prescribed in regulation and include:
- Experience as an adjudicator of disputes.
- Post-secondary training in adjudication.
- Successful completion of specialized bylaw dispute adjudication training.
Ministry of Justice
250 889-3922 (cell)