manitobacourts.mb.ca

Access to Justice Initiatives - Media Release

Posted on June 27, 2014

MEDIA RELEASE

Access to Justice Initiatives

As part of ongoing efforts to improve Access to Justice in Manitoba, the Chief Justice of Manitoba, the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court would like to update and highlight initiatives currently underway and discuss new Access to Justice Initiatives relating to all areas of the existing court systems.

The National Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters, convened at the invitation of the Chief Justice of Canada, released its report on October 8, 2013.  The report said that the existing court system is too slow, too complicated and too costly; that the time has come to tackle this regrettable reality; that the status quo is no longer acceptable and that culture shifts are required.  To this end, the Chief Justices and Chief Judge have identified possible responding initiatives in the area of family, criminal and civil law.

  • In the area of family law and child protection work, initiatives will be explored which recognize that the adversarial system may not always be the best way to resolve these matters. 
  • In the area of criminal law, initiatives will be explored with respect to the possible reform of preliminary inquiries, which will include reviewing the existing system which currently adds many months of delay to the final resolution of the matter.
  • In the area of civil law, initiatives will be explored which emphasize “proportionality” as a reference point for maximizing access to justice. 
  • In all three areas of the law, initiatives will be explored to address delay issues which often arise because of unwieldy processes. 
  • Public access to court information will be improved with the continuing development of the new Manitoba Courts website, found at www.manitobacourts.mb.ca
  • The ‘Cameras in the Courtroom’ pilot project which began in April, 2014 will continue and evolve.
  • Access for media will be expanded with the announcement of a designated space within the Winnipeg Law Courts Complex from which eligible media can conduct interviews or broadcast reports.  Those wishing to participate in this pilot project are encouraged to contact Aimee Fortier to complete the prerequisite undertakings. 
Information on this page last updated on June 27, 2014