Open courts principle is being violated in B.C, says legal columnist

The open courts principle relies on the idea that for justice to be done, it must be seen to be done. But a new report from B.C's chief judge concludes the public does not need online access to court files. Ian Mulgrew argues the decision violates the open courts principle.
The Criminal Trial Lawyers Association and the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association are speaking out about the impending cancellation of a rehabilitation program for sex offenders. (Supplied)

Access to court proceedings in B.C is "quite abysmal" says reporter and legal affairs columnist Ian Mulgrew, and he says it recently just got a little bit worse. 

Mulgrew points to a recent report from the Office of the Chief Judge of the Provincial Court of British Columbia where Chief Judge Thomas Crabtree limits online access to certain court files — files involving acquittals, withdrawal of charges and peace bonds. 

As Mulgrew writes, a person still can go down and inspect the criminal case file and take notes. But the issue for him is the lack of access via the internet. 

"If you can go down to court and see the record, you should be able to access them online," he says.

Click the blue 'play' button to hear Jim Brown's interviews with Ian Mulgrew.