Public confidence in Canadian justice system low: Oppal

Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — Public confidence in Canada's justice system is at an “all-time low,” B.C.'s Attorney-General says, adding judges need to start paying more attention to how the public feels.

Wally Oppal, a former B.C. Appeal Court judge, said in a year-end interview that Canada's justice system is seen as a model for the world.

But Canadians don't see it that way.

“The rate of confidence, or public confidence in the system is at an all-time low, and I think everybody in the system has be cognizant of that fact,” he said.

“We have to start working towards more confidence in the system, and that means everyone who's involved, including the courts.”

Mr. Oppal noted long delays in court proceedings and incidents of judges handing suspended sentences to offenders who have 15 to 20 prior convictions as part of the public relations problem.

“It takes us forever to get matters done,” he said.

“I think we have to get moving and some of the sentences have to reflect public mores and public standards. I think judges have to be cognizant of what the public thinks of their sentencing process.”

More to come



Commentary in the Globe and Mail

  1. Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa, Canada wrote: A politically correct news item, based on the premise that Canadian judges are soft on crime who to be held responsible for repeat offenders. BULLONY. Readers should sit in on any criminal court and watch how most judges in criminal court dispense justice. Our increasingly right wing Republican style mentality has increasingly seen greater adoption of minimum sentencing and the removal of judicial descretion to just a point that many self respecting judges must be feel rather ill being part of such a system that does little to minimize crime but seek politically correct 'retribution' that panders to the political interests of police officers such as the biggest mouth of them all, the head of the Ontario Provincial Police aka the former head of the Toronto police. JF. If the writer of this article truely had any concerns about the publics lack of confidence in the judicial process perhaps they should look at Family Court. This is where judges, the real underbelly of the judiciary carry out real crime by deliberately obstructing justice by making 'costs orders' that cannot be met that permanently end the litigation. Take Ottawa Family Court for example, several like Justice Denis Power make draconian orders for costs that have no other purpose than to punish a politically incorrect litigant, generally male. Family Court Judges issued Costs Orders against men to the tune of around 30 times that issued against women. Its sick, it brings the administration of justice into illrepute.