The B.C. government is bringing sections of the Justice Reform and Transparency Act into force on April 11, 2013.
The new act is an integral part of the B.C. government's action plan to modernize the justice system by creating a new structure for planning and reporting in the justice system.
The act provides for a Justice and Public Safety Council that's responsible for setting strategic vision for the justice system, producing an annual justice and public safety plan for the province, and reporting publicly on system performance. Members of the council are appointed by the Minister of Justice and will be announced shortly.
The act requires the Minister of Justice to hold an annual justice summit to allow for information-sharing, and encourage innovation and collaboration across the sector. The first justice summit was held on March 16, 2013, and future summits will continue to be a forum where justice system leaders can have frank and productive dialogue about how the system is performing and how it can be improved.
The act also gives the Minister of Justice authority to establish advisory boards on matters related to justice and public safety. When established, those boards, along with the council and the justice summit, will provide valuable guidance on measures that can improve access to justice, transparency and accountability in a way that meets the public interest in a modern, efficient justice system.
Also being brought into force on April 11 are the sections of the Justice Reform and Transparency Act that clarify the role and duties of the chief judge, and a section that enables the attorney general to enter into agreements with B.C.'s courts to better define roles and responsibilities and promote enhanced information-sharing and public reporting.
Sections of the act relating to developing strategic plans will come into force in October 2013, and the remaining sections of the act relating to judicial complement will be brought into force at a later date.
To read more about the act and the sections coming into force April 11, please visit: http://www.ag.gov.bc.ca/legislation/justice-reform-transp-act/index.htm
Ministry of Justice