Tag Archives: bc court

What The Trial of Yuan Xi Tang Made Me Think About Court Stories And Resources


Recently there has been news all over about this story of a person who murdered his mother to then place her in a suitcase. While at first he was claiming that he knew nothing about the incident and even went on a campaign in an effort to ask for help in finding her, later on he admitted to killing her. From what I read on the news, this was a result of people such as undercover police officers allegedly getting him to admit this on camera.

One thing it made me think of was would we have cared about this story/incident if it didn’t have such a crazy premise of a son murdering his mother and placing her in a suitcase? I am inclined to say probably not where this would simply be one of the many cases that would go under the radar. In many ways though it’s important for people to be engaged about these kinds of issues I feel. This person is living in your community right? Would you not want to know what the real deal was? If I wanted to learn about someone’s court case story that means having to spend a ton of money unless it is sensational enough for a large media outlet to want to eat the cost in reporting it.

At the same time, it made me rethink back to my court case and how I actually expressed that it seemed like such a waste of time to spend money and time on people like mediators. While I always said my case wasn’t like a criminal case, putting resources towards hiring people who specialize in getting the truth would have been way more efficient. Do you think a person like Yuan Xi Tang would have admitted to anything if it wasn’t for the police? I doubt it personally as most likely he would just continue on with the charade.

Using my case as an example, one big key of evidence in order to flush the truth out should have been evaluating the consistency of the statements submitted by both sides and looking at the facts. So instead of wasting time and money getting a person to help people talk it out, wouldn’t it make more sense to hire like an auditor for an hour or two? Basically like in my claim, one key to finding the truth is to find out who took what money, where did it go, what was the purpose, etc.

You should assume if two people are going to court then one person isn’t telling the truth. So like there, why not have like a court auditor where their job is to actually go through facts and statements initially for inconsistencies where it is made clear that everything will be documented and published?

I know some of the arguments to this is that it would be too costly or time consuming. But just using my case as an example look at how many people the court was paying a salary for to simply talk things out for the most part. With that amount of time and money spent, I would have rather had like a police officer spend that time doing record and background checks on people where they treat it as serious as if it was a criminal case. Everyone wants the truth and swift justice right? So why not actually design the process and resources in getting the truth out from the start as opposed to treating it like a tea party?

Why The Canadian Court System Needs An Element of Surprise For Proof

One highlight of the BC court process I witnessed was how not having a full element of surprise for straight forward civil cases in the initial stage can make an issue more complex than it needs to be. Essentially, in the court process you are supposed to provide the other party with all your evidence ahead of time so that they can prepare on how to answer it. This is supposed to make it fair. But does it really?

Based on my experience and observations this process simply enables people to potentially sway their statements into a different direction. As a humorous but in many ways an accurate example that can happen, take a look at this Dr. Phil episode about a man who completely denies having an affair with more women than the ones which he has been caught with:

For those who don’t want to watch through the whole thing, basically it progresses in a rather embarrassing fashion where when he denies there is no one else he has cheated with they then introduce another women. He then says that is really it only then for more women to be introduced. This leads to eventually him making comments such as “I wonder how many more chairs you can fit over there” in reference to how many more women there really are.

Imagine if in this situation they told the guy ahead of time of everything they knew. Basically, it will give him an opportunity to change his story direction. How would not having an element of surprise help in getting the full truth out here? Yet in many ways this is how the BC provincial civil court process works from my experience.

I think the solution would be pretty simple. In the initial stages you need to get the two parties to describe the whole version of their story in detail. After each party submits their version of the story, a session needs to be conducted where an official court representative or say a judge needs to verify and clarify any fine details of the submitted story so that one can’t backtrack from it or claim that they meant to say something else. Afterwards each party would submit their evidence where an impartial judge/jury will evaluate everything and they can sit both parties down based on the facts and statements to make a decision or to determine the next step.

I encourage anyone to try and explain why something like this wouldn’t work better for civil cases. Like saying again a jury of people on social media can probably find out the truth faster and more accurately when you minus the bureaucratic nature of the court process.

Why Do People Go To Court

I was reading this post at http://representingyourselfcanada.com/2014/12/03/checking-our-egos-and-accepting-our-part-is-fundamental-to-restoring-public-trust-in-the-justice-system/ which provides a valid viewpoint on how everyone is part of the issue in restoring trust to the justice system here in Canada. In general I do agree with the notion that it takes everyone in all sides to fix something. This particular quote got me thinking though:

“Which brings us to the public. The public has an important part to play in the A2J dilemma. There is a widespread expectation that all problems should be solvable by the justice system. And that everyone should have a right to access it.

Understandably, when the public sees this “offer”, they want to take it up. But it is an unrealistic oversell of what the legal system can actually do.”

There were then examples of how judges can’t change say a deadbeat parent as an example of over expectation. That then made me think how maybe there is a disconnect as to why many people go to court in general which would explain a lot such as all those stories I hear on how courts usually never enforce things such as if people tell false stories in court.

For myself, my decision to go to court wasn’t only to solve a technical issue per se. My train of thought on why we have a court system in the first place is that we live in a society that values and promotes a certain standard of behavior. Example, it’s wrong to steal from a bank. Imposing a ruling that condemns that bad behavior is protecting society as a whole from becoming like a “scamville” so to speak.

So if we have a case of someone robbing a bank, while technically the issue itself is about proving if a crime was committed, ultimately the reason why we do it is to protect the idea that we can live in a safe society free from this bad behavior. In theory, these court rulings and its presence should discourage people from doing these types of things. You can change this to any other example such as the more recent sexual assault and rape cases plastered in the media.

Like from my experience, my thought was if I simply allowed my situation to slide then there is a high chance it will happen to someone else. Same reason why people like me speak out about our court experiences too. Hence, in many ways it’s like a social responsibility where the public invented the court system to essentially condemn serious bad behavior to protect the public as a whole. Impose fines, send people to jail, etc. It’s not about wanting a judge to decide which chocolate bar tastes better in a subjective way for example where it’s based on personal preference. Unless my idea of what a justice system is supposed to stand for is completely wrong.

But if you are telling me that it indeed isn’t to get justice for example but rather to simply solve disputes on a surface level, then what is the point of a court system or law in general? It would almost make more sense to simply have mediators and independent news reporters to broadcast cases in a live talk show format to the open public about issues to decide upon.

Even I agree that nothing can be perfect for everyone and you will always have bad apples on every side of the fence. If there is a clear confusion as to what a court should be all about where the public thinks it’s “the” way to get justice and people in the system think it’s simply an alternative method to resolve disputes then that is a huge issue.

On the topic of trust in the justice system, until there are practical ways to get true transparency on what actually goes on in the whole court process this distrust isn’t going anywhere. For example, imagine if in this video there was no such thing as videotaping of court proceedings:

For a person like myself, sadly based on my experience I wouldn’t doubt if things like this happen more often than we would like to believe. Transcripts, audio and court papers wouldn’t be able to tell that story. In this scenario it would have mostly been that lady’s word against powerful people in the court system. There is simply no way she would have been believed or won there which results in no change. Build trust by being fully transparent and implement ways that will better ensure that everyone, including the public, can be held accountable for their actions throughout the court process.