Thursday, January 22, 2015

Should the Public Continue to Fund Courts to Resolve Personal, Civil Disputes?

Ontario Superior Court Justice Graeme Mew addresses yet another access to justice "elephant in the room," in a ruling awarding modest damages of only $10,000 for defamation, after a six-year legal battle between two, rival Toronto weight-loss physicians:
It is for others to decide whether the substantial public resources that have been made available to enable this dispute to be adjudicated are proportionate to the rights and interests that were at stake.
This is a challenging, but perhaps refreshing comment from the bench.

We often hear of the "average" Canadian being driven out of the court system because of its prohibitive costs.  Rarely do we consider the waste of judicial resources arising from dubious courtroom feuds among the well-heeled, who have little trouble affording the sport of unending litigation.

Should the public really be paying for this?
More reading:  
Defamation case involving diet doctors 'more about ego than injury' judge finds 
Bernstein v. Poon 2015 ONSC 155 (CanLII)2015-01-19
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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