If passed, Amendments to Bill 8, the Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2023, would include updates to the Court of King’s Bench Act, the Jury Act, the Justice of the Peace Act, the Estate Administration Act, the Trustee Act and the Conflicts of Interest Act.
“If passed, the Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2023 will make it easier for Albertans to access important services and ensure our legislation is up to date.”
Conflicts of Interest Act
Following a recommendation from Alberta’s ethics commissioner, amendments to the Conflicts of Interest Act would suspend investigations by the ethics commissioner during the period leading up to a general election, which would keep unproven allegations from influencing the democratic process.
Amendments would also move dollar limits and rules for elected officials receiving gifts into regulation. This would provide flexibility to adjust the limits to reflect current costs.
The amendment to the Trustee Act would clarify the definition of incapacitated person.
Estate Administration Act
The amendments to the Estate Administration Act would make it easier to understand the requirements of Albertans acting as personal representatives in the administration of an estate of a deceased person.
The amendment to the Jury Act would replace a reference to summary trial with streamlined trial. Effective Jan. 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
Amendments to the Justice of the Peace Act would increase access to justice for Albertans by temporarily increasing the maximum number of terms a justice of the peace can serve, allowing time for additional permanent appointments to be made.
Court of King’s Bench Act
Amendments to the Court of King’s Bench Act would increase the number of judges in the act by six, which reflects the current size of the court based on increases made by orders in council since 2021.