Bar association opposes cuts to justice system in the province

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The Canadian Bar Association — Newfoundland and Labrador Branch (CBA-NL) said today it strongly opposes cuts to the justice system resulting from the 2013 provincial budget.

There are 370 members of the CBA-NL.

“CBA-NL fears that access to justice, along with the public’s confidence in the justice system, will be significantly impacted by the cuts announced in the 2013 budget,” says CBA-NL vice-president Cheryl Mullett.

Mike King, chairman of the CBA-NL criminal justice section, says the association recognizes the challenges facing government in the current budget year, but cuts to legal aid, crown prosecutors and sheriff’s officers will place a heavy burden on an already overwrought system.

“These cuts have the potential to put our justice system in crisis,” King said. “The reduction in the number of crown prosecutors will significantly increase workloads, create delays, and a potential backlog of cases waiting to go before the courts.”

The association also says the safety of the sheriff’s officers, court staff and the public will be affected as a result of the layoffs at the sheriff’s office in St. John’s.

“The reduction in the number of sheriff’s officers in St. John’s from 40 to 20 is alarming when the scope of responsibilities of the sheriff’s officers is considered,” King said. “Among other things, they are responsible for the safety and security of our courthouses and will no doubt be challenged by a reduced workforce.”

Organizations: CBA-NL, Canadian Bar Association, Newfoundland and Labrador Branch

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  • Lamer Inquiry Part Two
    April 03, 2013 - 18:04

    Minister King is either purposely misleading the public or he simply has no clue what he is talking about. Either way it is a very pathetic situation and public safety in NL will suffer significantly. Minister King - a man with NO legal education or experience - should actually make a trip out of the Ivory Tower of the Confed Bldg and visit the Provincial Court or Crown Attorney Office on any given day. He will realize that these cuts cripple already overburdened prosecutors. He will also realize that the safety of EVERYONE at court is now at risk with the cuts to the Sherriff officers. All the improvements created because of the Lamer Inquiry have been destroyed by this man with one thoughtless stroke of his "budget cut wand".

  • jerry bennett
    April 03, 2013 - 14:02

    They stand there and try and make us believe 20 of the 40 sheriff's officers are redundent.If that were true this gov.should be held to task for paying them all this time for doing nothing.Trust this gov.less and less every day.

  • david
    April 03, 2013 - 13:08

    "People Affected by Job Cuts are Against it". D'uh.