The province is reforming its civil and family law courts to make justice more accessible and affordable for average British Columbians, Attorney General Mike de Jong said yesterday.

The reforms, which were seven years in the making, include eliminating court fees for the first three days of a trial and limiting oral questioning in discovery to seven hours.

Dropping court fees will save the average person around $1,000.

“For too many people, justice through the courts has become unaffordable,” de Jong said outside the Vancouver Law Courts yesterday.

Donald Brenner, chief justice of the B.C. Supreme Court, said the new rules will foster earlier resolutions and a more affordable trial process for cases that need to be adjudicated.

Dropping court fees for the first three days, he said, means there will be no fees for the majority of cases.

New Democrat MLA Leonard Krog, however, said reforms will do nothing to restore the 40 per cent cut to legal aid in the province.

The new rules will come into effect on July 1, 2010.

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