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The Judge shortage crisis

Author: Christopher Green

There is a crisis in our courts.

There are not enough judges to hear the swelling backlog of pending cases. The crisis has been years in the making, as the number of judges has failed to keep pace with the growing population, while at the same time the length of individual trial lengths continues to grow, and the Federal government drags its feet.The situation has become so bad that a recent Federal Court decision found that the Federal government had failed in its constitutional duty to appoint judges in a timely fashion:

here are some of the current numbers, they are a disgrace:

Days since Federal Court declared Canada is breaching constitutional duty to appoint judges: 13

Current vacancies: 14 judges (81/95 judges)

Vacancies as a percentage: ~15% of the court

Last appointment: August 28, 2023 (5.5 months ago)

Total appointments in 2024: 0

Total appointments in 2023: 4 (2 in Vancouver)

Vancouver trials set to start Tuesday with no judge: 14 [edit: 6 as of Tuesday morning; looks like all 6 got cancelled]

BC pop. growth for 12 months ending Oct. 1, 2023: 177,599 (3.3%; highest since 1972; 3x higher than national rate)

BC pop. growth projection for 2024: 128,790 (2.9%)