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Canada Alberta Justice makes cuts forcing victims to bring own tissues, water to court

14:50  22 january  2020
14:50  22 january  2020 Source:   globalnews.ca

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'Silliness at the extreme': Alberta Justice makes cuts forcing victims to bring own tissues , water to court .

The human scale of the cuts made under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders What is happening to everyone who is unable to access advice? When the cuts to legal aid were The reality is that people with legal problems who used to be able to access advice are forced to struggle

a glass cup on a table: Water and tissues will be removed from Alberta courtrooms immediately, according to sources.© Water: EPA Nic Bothma; Tissues: Kaylen Small/Global News Water and tissues will be removed from Alberta courtrooms immediately, according to sources.

Alberta Justice will not be supplying people in courtrooms with water or tissues effective immediately, sources confirmed to Global News on Tuesday.

The move to reduce spending in the department will result in victims, police, prosecutors and defence lawyers being required to supply their own tissues and water.

READ MORE: About 90 lawyers cut from Alberta Legal Services as part of government downsizing

Ian Savage, president of the Calgary-based Criminal Defence Lawyers Association, said the move by Alberta Justice court administration is ridiculous.

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When you go to court , you should bring the subpoena, as well If you make a mistake, tell the lawyer who subpoenaed you and they will make sure your error is corrected in court . The lawyers will start with some simple questions about you and try to determine what you know about the alleged crime.

Alberta Courts . Court of Appeal. Judges must be free, but obliged, to decide on their own . Appointments. Lawyers with at least 10 years at the Bar can apply to become The Provincial Court of Alberta places a very high priority on continuing legal education for Judges and Justices of the Peace.

"There [are] budget cuts and there's silliness, and this obviously falls into the line of silliness," he said.

"The court system, like any other public system, has people coming into it that have basic human needs. Just like toilet paper, running water and soap in the washrooms of the courthouse, individuals that come to the courthouse to participate in the justice system — be it the lawyers, the judges or witnesses — need to drink water in order to carry on in a normal function."

READ MORE: ‘We’re at a critical point’: Alberta prosecutors too overloaded to take cases to trial

Savage said many people already buy their own water but the concern would be for witnesses.

"Most witnesses are standing for potentially hours at a time, talking and answering questions in an unfamiliar setting, and to be without water is just silly. The tissues as well," he said.

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History of the Alberta Court of Appeal. As the Court 's second century continues, I have no doubt that this Court and its members will continue to faithfully protect the values and principles that are the foundations of our free, peaceful and democratic society Victim Resources.

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Savage said the person most likely to need a tissue in the courthouse is a complainant in a serious case, like a sexual assault, that is becoming emotional.

“[They are] having to recount the trauma they've gone through, and that's the person who the government wants to take the tissues away from, which, again, I said is silliness at the extreme."

– With files from Global News' Nancy Hixt

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