Why cuts to courts are bad for business

 
February 14, 2012

By Tony Wilson

The Globe and Mail, February 14, 2012

 

Around 1996, I had lunch with a client who had moved to Vancouver from Hong Kong, but he still had a significant business presence in the soon-to-be-former British colony.

 

I asked him whether he was worried about Hong Kong being ruled by China instead of Britain.

 

His answer surprised me. He wasn’t as concerned about who had “political sovereignty” over Hong Kong as much as he was worried about a functioning judicial system, operated on the basis of the Rule of Law, which allowed litigants (in his case businesses like his) to obtain speedy justice in fair and unbiased courts. Its something I’ve written about before. But to my client, it was the lasting hallmark of British rule in Hong Kong.

 

At a conference of the B.C. branch of the Canadian Bar Association in Las Vegas in November, Chief Justice Robert Bauman of the Supreme Court of British Columbia gave a keynote address about a justice system “in peril.”

 

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