A shortage of B.C. Provincial Court judges could mean that certain cases will be dropped.
According to Black Press, the courts have released a report about the effects of a constant lack of judges. The report states that thousands of criminal cases could be in jeopardy and may be thrown out due to extreme delays.
The report also states that there are approximately 16,000 cases that have been in the courts for more than six months.
In particular, Fort St. John and Dawson Creek have been mentioned for the extreme delays in conducting half-day and two-day trials. Although not considered the worst-delayed courts, Fort St. John and Dawson Creek have the two trial lengths being delayed at least 11 months or 15 to 16 months, respectively. The standard wait time for a two-day trial is eight months.
The report also states that, in 2010 there were 900 fewer trial days scheduled than in 2005. This has been attributed to the fact that there are 17 fewer judges than five years ago and only 130 across the province.
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