Finding New Pathways: learning from experience while keeping courts open & safe

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The Provincial Court of British Columbia has published its 2020/21 Annual Report, “Finding New Pathways: learning from experience while keeping courts open & safe”. In addition to the detailed statistics included in previous reports, this report tells the story of how the Court managed its work and minimized backlog in the first year of the COVID pandemic.

The report captures the energy, determination, and positive attitudes with which the Court’s judicial officers and staff members faced the challenges posed by the pandemic. It uses photographs of masked judicial officers to show how they continued their out-of-court activities, infographics to summarize caseload and other statistics, and a timeline to highlight significant events during the fiscal year from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

Judges joined Chief Judge Gillespie to mark the Court’s first sitting day in the new Abbotsford Law Courts on January 18, 2021.

In a section entitled “Pandemic Response”, the report describes the Court’s efforts to:

• keep its services as accessible as possible while minimizing transmission of COVID-19;
• develop technology and procedures to improve access to justice, both immediately and in the long term; and
• manage its caseload effectively to reduce delay for litigants and limit backlog.

It presents statistics on matters including:

• the number of judges and judicial justices and their demographics
• the number of new cases filed, broken down by region and division
• the number and percentage of remote appearances (by telephone, audio, or video-conference)
• the number of self-represented litigants’ appearances
• the number of complaints against judicial officers and their outcomes
• the Court’s performance in meeting its operational standards

Read “Finding New Pathways: learning from experience while keeping courts open & safe”, the Provincial Court of British Columbia’s 2020/21 annual report.