Chief judge to host Twitter town hall

B.C. Provincial Court Chief Judge Thomas Crabtree will be fielding questions during a Twitter town hall on Thurs., April 6 as part of B.C.'s Law Week.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the public can send questions to #AskChiefJudge.

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"I'm looking forward to hearing the questions on people's minds and will do my best to answer them. If we're not able to answer every question in the two-hour town hall, we'll try to provide answers on our website in the days following the event," Crabtree said.

Crabtree can talk about his own experience as a judge and as chief judge, how judges are appointed and educated, and about the court's initiatives to reduce delay and improve access to justice.

There may be questions about the recently-announced changes to small claims court, or the court's use of restorative justice, problem-solving or specialized courts, and efforts to improve its work with First Nations communities.

However, he cannot discuss individual cases - in Canada a judge's reasons for decision must speak for themselves and appeal to a higher court is the remedy for errors. And he cannot discuss political issues - Canadian courts are a separate, independent and non-political branch of government.

It's the second time the event has been held. Last year he tweeted 100 answers to 72 tweeted questions on topics ranging from his thoughts on night courts and mandatory mediation to the court's trial scheduling reform, First Nations courts, and even what book he was reading.

His responses included both his thoughts distilled to 140 characters - the limits of a Twitter "tweet" - and links to related articles and resources.

Tweets before April 6 are also welcome for those who cannot participate on that date.

More information is available at provincialcourt.bc.ca.

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