POLITICS
02/08/2012 01:48 EST | Updated 04/09/2012 05:12 EDT

Clark announces review to modernize B.C.'s justice system

VANCOUVER - Premier Christy Clark is launching a sweeping reviewing of British Columbia's justice system that includes shaking up government ministries with the goal of clearing up court backlogs and delays.

Clark says systemic changes are needed in B.C.'s justice system when crime rates are dropping but court delays and costs are increasing.

Clark appointed Geoffrey Cowper, the former head of the organization that provides legal aid in British Columbia, to undertake the review and report back to government by July.

The premier says the review includes consultations with the judiciary, Crown counsel, lawyers, police and others to improvement and modernize the justice system and to ensure timely access.

As well, Clark says she's adjusted the workload for Shirley Bond, who has been serving as attorney general, solicitor general and public safety minister.

Bond will now serve as Attorney General and as minister for the newly created Justice Ministry, while other parts of her former job such as responsibility for gaming and for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia are moved to other ministers.