Provincial Court Judges Win Their Case
CBA and AG support better compensation
During a time when government spending is being closely scrutinized, particularly in relation to salaries and benefits, the Judicial Compensation Committee released its report on the compensation provided to provincial court judges. Attacked for supporting the first provincial court judge salary increases since 1993, the report’s recommendations were challenged by the Liberal Opposition and others. Despite the political “heat”, Attorney General Ujjal Dosanjh championed the recommendations as moves which “support the view that the judiciary play a pivotal role in our democratic society...that their independence is critical to that role...(and that) the work of provincial court judges is becoming more complex.” As a result, the report’s recommendations will be implemented.
The Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch participated in the Committee’s review process. Branch President Kerry-Lynne Findlay presented a brief prepared by Ken Sarnecki, Chair of the Committee on Provincial Court Judges Salaries and Pensions. We also sent letters to the Attorney General and to the Liberal Justice Critic, following the report’s release. The CBA supported the position that the salaries of provincial court judges are inadequate given the broad scope and mandate of the provincial court, and in comparison to Supreme Court levels.
Journey for Justice: An innovative idea in the Legal Aid fight
Community groups and lawyers working together in the East Kootenays have developed an imaginative concept called the “Journey for Justice--Give It Back”. A relay “journey”--by foot, bicycle, kayak, horseback, whatever--will be held to collect the stories of people denied Legal Aid in every community law office on the way to Victoria. There will be media and public exposure in each community, culminating in the delivery of the stories to the Premier. Other BC communities are being asked to get involved in this Journey--watch for follow-up Bar Faxes on this issue. Along with Dugald Christie’s protest bike ride to Ottawa, and the withdrawal of Legal Aid services by 50 members of the Vancouver Bar, the Journey for Justice is providing a much-needed infusion of energy into the battle to ensure access to Legal Aid services.
Passages: Rajnikant Pandya
Rajnikant Pandya passed away suddenly on April 25, 1998. Raj’s law education took him from Bombay University in India, to McGill University, and eventually to Vancouver, where he articled with Davis & Company. His legal work focused on property conveyances, commercial ventures and company structures. Outside of work, he was an avid horse racing fan, and supporter of charitable and cultural organizations. He will be greatly missed by his family in BC and in India, and by his many friends and associates.
These articles were published in the August 1998 issue of BarTalk. © 1998 The Canadian Bar Association. All rights reserved.