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B.C. streamlines court regions, improves court management

The B.C. government is consolidating the province’s 12 court regions to five, a change which comes after lawyer Geoffrey Cowper issued a report that recommended sweeping reforms to break a backlog in the court system where cases have been thrown out over long delays.

JOHN LEHMANN/The Globe and Mail

The B.C. government is consolidating the province's 12 court regions to five in part of an effort to streamline the justice system.

The change comes after lawyer Geoffrey Cowper issued a report that recommended sweeping reforms to break a backlog in the court system where cases have been thrown out over long delays.

Chief Judge Thomas Crabtree proposed the five provincial court regions be Vancouver Island, Fraser, Vancouver, Interior, and the Northern region.

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Each region will be managed by a regional administrative judge — a position that hasn't been created yet, so an associate chief judge will be presiding over each area for now.

The Justice Ministry says administrative judges who were not designated for any of the new regions will return to regular sitting duties.

The ministry says the changes will give Crabtree greater authority to manage the administration of the court and improve administrative efficiency.

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