British Columbia's inaugural justice summit concluded today, following discussions among leaders from the Ministry of Justice, the judiciary, federal and provincial justice and public safety agencies, the legal profession, police, municipalities, related criminal justice agencies and the academic community.
In his report, A Criminal Justice System for the 21st Century, Geoffrey Cowper, Q.C., recommended establishing a justice summit that would bring together all levels of court and justice system leaders to facilitate collaboration among all justice participants. When it comes into force, the Justice Reform and Transparency Act will require the Minister of Justice to convene a justice summit at least once a year.
A group of diverse participants met at the University of British Columbia on Saturday, March 16th for a dialogue about the province's criminal justice system, its performance and strategic direction.
The Honourable Mr. Justice Richard Wagner of the Supreme Court of Canada delivered the keynote address at a pre-summit event. Justice Wagner spoke about the importance of developing a dialogue to address the problem of access to justice.
Participants in the full-day summit focused on laying the groundwork for future innovation and collaboration, including identifying the values that are essential to the administration and practice of criminal justice and setting priorities for future summits.
A report summarizing the summit will be publicly released following preparation and review by attendees.