After extensive research and consultation the Court has adopted a new trial scheduling model in order to maximize the effective, equitable and efficient use of court time. As reform rolls out, various aspects of the new model are being implemented around the province.
The new model delays the assignment of judges to trial courts until the day or week before trial to better absorb adjournments, pleas, stays of proceeding, and settlements. Judges are not scheduled to specific duties or cases until the latest point in time where it is operationally feasible in order to allow the best use of available judicial resources. New Assignment Courts are now functioning in Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, Robson Square and Victoria, with Kelowna, Abbotsford and Surrey to follow early in the New Year. Trials are sent to a trial court room from Assignment Court when they are ready to start. Experience to date shows that more trials are able to begin on time in the new model.
The Court Digital Display System (CDDS) is now live in all 7 of these courts. People can find the courtroom to which their trial or appearance is assigned on digital boards similar to those found in airports.
A new software application (PCSS) is now in use by Judicial Case Managers in most regions of the province, due to the outstanding efforts of the training team and JCMs who have mastered a very aggressive transition plan.
The Criminal Justice Branch is also implementing changes to its file management practices to assign responsibility for a prosecution to an individual Crown Counsel earlier.
For more detailed information see Provincial Court Trial Scheduling and Provincial Court Scheduling Project newsletters on the Court’s website.