BC Court Upholds Transcript Fees Requirement for Appeals but Pleads for Government to Act to Increase Access to Justice

On Friday, in Allart v. Alec’s Automotive Machine Shop (2003) Ltd., 2014 BCSC 476, Madam Justice Bruce of the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that the appellant’s constitutional challenge of Rule 18-3 of the Supreme Court Civil Rules (appeals from Provincial Court, Small Claims) could not succeed. In so doing, however, she recognized the plight that many litigants face when dealing with an appeal from the Provincial Court, namely the costs of a transcript of the Provincial Court proceedings. In my view, while this case does not deal substantively with the issue as to whether the requirement that one pay the costs of the transcription of the proceedings below results in a barrier to access to justice, it raises tangentially the question as to whether access to justice has become an illusory concept for most Canadians.
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