King says cuts won't affect court system

Newfoundland and Labrador Justice Minister Darin King says a reduction in the number of Crown prosecutors won't clog up the provincial court system.
Justice minister Darin King says budget cuts won't affect the delivery of justice system services. (CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador's justice minister says cutting the number of Crown prosecutors in St. John's won't cause a backlog of cases in the provincial court system.

Tuesday's budget reduced the number of prosecutors from 18 to 14. The family violence intervention court was also eliminated.   

Justice Minister Darin King said job cuts are happening throughout the justice department. He said workloads will change, but the quality of service will not.

"We looked at the caseloads of all employees in the department of justice, we explored opportunities where we - in discussion with our supervisors - felt that we could make some changes and still continue to provide a high-quality service," said King.

"If we didn't feel like we could do that, we would not have brought forward the changes we have brought forward."

Lawyer, MHA raise concerns

On Wednesday, defence lawyer Peter Ralph said cutting the number of Crown attorneys will down the court system and could mean some cases won't go to trial.

NDP MHA Gerry Rogers said the elimination of the family intervention court could make things worse for victims of domestic violence.

King said he will be closely monitoring fallout from the changes.