Recently, the SOLGEN announced that discussions were in play for the review of the AB courts systems. As part of this review, an option to overhaul the criminal courts, specifically "traffic Court" was being considered.

Traffic court would be changed to an administrative tribunal that would be established to review traffic violations rather than a person being able to have the matter heard by a justice/commissioner.

Effectively, after a ticket is issued, the respondent would mail in there "not guilty" claim (possibly with an administration fee) and ask for an adjudicator to review the matter. This would be done on the disclosure/report of the Officer. The idea of this system is stop the clogging of the criminal courts with lower tier trials, particularly the ones where the defence is relying on the Officer to be a "no-show". Of course, much of this is yet to be decided upon.

I have attached the link to the discussion paper for those who wish to read it. And YOU SHOULD READ IT as it asks a series of questions and asks for feedback on the processes.

http://justice.alberta.ca/initiatives/Documents/TCRI-DiscussionGuide_2014-02-24.pdf

And the below link will take you the SOLGEN website:

http://albertajsg.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/traffic-court-reform-in-alberta/

SOLGEN and Traffic Court on CBC Radio - Go to the 25:00min mark:

Take note if the inflammatory comment "when you go to the courthouse AT THE END OF THE MONTH and the huge line ups", I imagine that a link to "quotas" is trying to be inferred here.

http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Local+Shows/Alberta/ID/2441477464/

...and some video:

http://www.theloop.ca/news/ctvnews/local/alberta/article/-/a/3423612/Province-looking-to-take-traffic-infractions-out-of-court

Should we have such a system in place? What are your personal concerns as a citizen and as a Peace Officer?

What does this all really mean? What I can suggest is that should this reform occur then you are moving the process from Traffic Law to Administrative Law which the Government can influence and control. The Traffic Law courts, by the principle of "separation of powers" cannot be influenced by the executive government. When you move to an Administrative system then it becomes something similar to a tribunal which can be controlled by the government who can then create legislation that controls the process. Remember Bill 45 and 46, the Government tried to legislate the AUPE out of bargaining. This is quite a possibility unless someone takes the time, effort and money to see a matter back in to the courts.

Other things to consider under a Administrative system are evidence requirements, what statutory requirements exists for a duty to be fair or if it remains procedural. The CoR will not have as greater bearing on the process and could we see the reduce standard on a balance of probabilities?