The public and people appearing in court must have confidence in our justice system, and that begins with having confidence in the decisions made in the courtroom. People must be confident that judicial officers have integrity and are impartial and independent.
Sentencing is one of a B.C. Provincial Court judge’s most challenging responsibilities. If a person charged with a criminal offence pleads guilty or is found guilty after a trial, they will be sentenced. In determining a fit sentence, the judge must consider all the information presented in court about the offender and the crime, including:
This week the Provincial Court is launching an initiative to improve the way criminal cases are dealt with in their early stages in the Surrey courthouse. The Court deals with many thousands of new criminal cases in Surrey each year. Managing such a high caseload both fairly and efficiently is a challenge.
John-Paul Boyd is the executive director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, a non-profit organization associated with the University of Calgary. Last year he drafted a statement of the rights and responsibilities of people who participate in Canadian court proceedings without a lawyer and it got a lot of attention.
The executive director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family, John-Paul Boyd, has published a statement online setting out the rights and responsibilities of people who are involved in Canadian court proceedings without a lawyer to represent them. It’s worth reading.