Table of contents

Status: The Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2023 received royal assent on December 7, 2023
Ministry responsible: Justice

Overview

The Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2023, (formerly Bill 8) improves clarity for Albertans using the justice system and ensures legislation aligns with current practices and other pieces of legislation.

The act amends 6 acts to align with an Ethics Commissioner’s recommendation, increase access to the justice system, clarify a definition, clarify requirements for a personal representative, replace a reference to summary trial with streamlined trial and update legislation to reflect current court size.

These changes reduce red tape, improve efficiency and help make the justice system clearer and easier to understand.

Key changes

The Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2023 updates the following legislation:

  • Conflicts of Interest Act

    • Allow key concepts to be addressed or clarified through regulation and incorporate a recommendation of the Ethics Commissioner into legislation.
    • Suspend investigations into conflicts of interest violations once a general election is called, which would keep unproven allegations from influencing the democratic process.
    • Move dollar limits and rules for elected officials receiving gifts into regulation, which would provide flexibility to adjust the limits to reflect current costs.
  • Trustee Act

    • Clarify the definition of incapacitated person.
  • Estate Administration Act

    • Make the requirements for an Albertan acting as a personal representative administering the estate of a deceased person clearer and easier to understand.
  • Jury Act

    • Replace a reference to summary trial with streamlined trial.
    • Effective January 1, 2024, streamlined trials will replace the seldom used summary trial process for civil and family matters in the Court of King’s Bench.
    • A streamlined trial differs from other forms of trial by relying primarily on written evidence, rather than oral evidence, allowing court resources to be used more efficiently, freeing up court time and increasing Albertans’ access to justice.
  • Justice of the Peace Act

    • Temporarily increase the maximum number of terms a justice of the peace can serve, allowing time for additional appointments to be made.
  • Court of King’s Bench Act

    • Increase the number of judges in the act by 6, which reflects the current size of the court, based on increases made by orders-in-council since 2021.

Next steps

The Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2023 will take effect on various dates.

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