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B.C. modifies court procedures in response to COVID-19

Monday, March 16, 2020 @ 12:35 PM | By Ian Burns

The courts in British Columbia have adopted a number of measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to information supplied by B.C.’s courts, all three levels of court have developed a series of alert levels regarding court operations. It is currently set at Alert Level 2, which means reduced operations due to moderate judiciary, judicial staff, courthouse staff and sheriff absences and to protect public health and to reduce and slow the transmission of the virus.

The Court of Appeal is requesting that lawyers and parties consider agreeing to adjourn matters (criminal, civil or family), scheduled to proceed between now and May 31 that do not urgently need to proceed. More information can be found here.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia is cancelling all criminal and civil jury selections until the end of May, with criminal defendants being given the option to proceed via trial by judge alone. For jury trials already underway, the presiding judge will consider whether the trial should continue or be stood down for a period of time. Click here for more information.

The provincial court is also reducing its operations. More information can be found here.