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B.C. directives on litigation with Indigenous peoples aimed at negotiated resolutions – The Lawyer’s Daily

May 05, 2022

British Columbia has issued a number of new directives for legal counsel to follow while involved in civil proceedings with Indigenous peoples, and legal observers are saying they could represent a seismic change from the rights denial that has characterized such litigation in the past.

The 20 requirements contained in the province’s new directives on civil litigation involving Indigenous peoples are aimed at ensuring B.C. government lawyers take an approach to litigation that upholds the honour of the Crown and Crown obligations to Indigenous peoples, while seeking negotiated resolutions that uphold Indigenous human rights and Aboriginal rights. The directives say counsel should vigorously pursue all alternative forms of resolution throughout the litigation process, limitations and equitable defences should be pleaded only where there is a principled basis and evidence to support the defence, and that “oral history evidence is a matter of weight, not admissibility.”

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