Nfld. & Labrador

Court closures bad idea, N.L. bar association warns

The Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Bar Association is speaking out against the impending closure of four courts in the province.
In an effort to save money, the Newfoundland and Labrador government has decided to close four courts, including provincial court in Wabush. (CBC)

The Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Bar Association is speaking out against the impending closure of four courts in the province.

In a news release Monday, the CBA-NL asked the province to reconsider closing Supreme Courts in Grand Bank and Grand Falls-Windsor, and provincial courts in Harbour Grace and Wabush.

The courts in questions, the CBA-NL said, serve large areas in the province, and the closures would have a negative affect on the court system.

Moreover, the association said individuals and lawyers will have to travel greater distances to attend court hearings, resulting in higher costs for everyone involved. 

"Closure of such courts works to undermine access to justice for residents of this province, and in particular the most vulnerable and impoverished residents," said Steve Scruton, president of the CBA-NL.

Scruton believes the savings to the province would be "modest," and the financial benefit would not outweigh the negative impact.