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Jan Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE V O L . 7 5 P A R T 1 J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 7 139 really worth that chaos. In any event you cannot supplement court reporters, nor can you substitute witnesses and perhaps the Attorney General should speak to the sheriffs about what they think about trying to empanel juries in summertime for juries are mostly working men who take their holidays then and there would surely be much French leave taking. Most lawyers who do counsel work habitually take their vacation in the summer and it is much easier to arrange trial dates if all of them go away at the same time. If there were no long vacation it would be a reasonable ground for an adjournment that one’s opponent had set a trial down when one intended to go on holiday. Witnesses will be more difficult to herd into court in the summer and that would be an unhappy imposition on those unfortunate members of the public required to testify during their scheduled holidays. The ordinary humble working man is not usually in a position to re-schedule his holiday to answer a subpoena. Law firms usually are short staffed during the summer because stenographers are away. There is also the problem of conducting trials in the Interior during the summer. Grinding through an assize in Kamloops in August is a sweaty thought indeed. However, it must be said that there are certain matters which should not be delayed by the existence of long vacation. Some criminal trials should take place and could do so, notwithstanding the problems posed by vacationing witnesses and jurors. There are some judges, usually those no longer rearing young children, who prefer to take their vacation in the winter and there would therefore without inconvenience or oppression be some judges available for work in summer vacation. Chambers matters should continue unabated. Urgent civil litigation like custody applications could still be heard. As for uncontested divorces there is no reason why these should be held up while the law takes a holiday, but there is equally no reason why Supreme Court judges or for that matter County Court judges should hear those vital but simple processes anyway. This paper once advocated the appointment of divorce commissioners from members of the bar and if this were done it would free Supreme Court judges for more important work and permit a divorce list to proceed unhindered and, incidentally, use the courtroom facilities freeing them somewhat on Fridays during the rest of the year. The Attorney General has a marvelous opportunity of which he must avail himself, to reform much of the fusty, creaky administrative process. We beg him however not to heed the uninformed clamour of those who wish that abolished, the function of which they do not understand. t t t t t


Jan Advocate 2017
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