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May Advocate 2017

THE ADVOCATE VOL.V O L . 75 7 5 PART P A R T 3 3 MAY M A Y 2 2017 0 1 7 455 Dear Sir, Re: Bench and Bar (2017) 75 Advocate 141 I generally enjoy the Bench and Bar pages in the Advocate. January’s butterfly theme was particularly inspiring as butterflies are a symbol of transformation and the transformation of our justice system is close to my heart. I do, however, have two questions about the paragraph at page 154 of the January edition that states: In England the Civil Justice Council, backed by the Master of the Rolls, has called for the creation of an eBay dispute resolution– style online court to resolve claims of up to £25,000. It is hoped that civil disputes of modest value and complexity can be resolved without the disproportionate cost of legal representation. Cases are to be handled in three stages: (1) an automated, interactive online process to identify the issues and lodge documentary evidence, followed by (2) conciliation and case management by case officers, and then (3) resolution by a judge. The judge will take an inquisitorial, problemsolving approach and, unless a hearing is required to test credibility, the matter will be decided without a physical hearing. This has been tried before. The Michigan Cyber Court was created in 2002, but it failed, it is said, because it was ahead of its time. Underlining added. Why the reference to the “failed” Michigan Cyber Court when British Columbia’s very own Civil Resolution Tribunal (“CRT”) largely resolves matters online, through conciliation, case management and written hearings? As you may recall, the CRT has been operating successfully since July of last year for strata disputes and we are preparing to implement its small claims jurisdiction in the coming GRUMBLES By R.C. Tino Bella* * Grumbles may be sent to the editor by e-mail to mbain@the-advocate.ca.


May Advocate 2017
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