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B.C. courts release notices on appeal procedures, pretrial conferences

Thursday, April 30, 2020 @ 12:52 PM | By Ian Burns

The B.C. Court of Appeal has released additional information for lawyers and the public as it prepares to hear appeals by videoconference starting next week.

On April 20 Chief Justice Robert Bauman directed that, beginning May 4, the Court of Appeal would hear all appeals, including those that are not urgent, using the Zoom platform, and all chambers applications and registrar’s appointments, including those that are not urgent, by teleconference or in writing.

This notice provides information for anyone who will appear before the Court of Appeal for a videoconference hearing, including a step-by-step guide to appearing in a Zoom videoconference proceeding. The notice contains detailed information about the videoconference hearing process and what to do if there are technological issues during the hearing.

The Court of Appeal has also issued a second notice about public access to appeal proceedings and court records during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more information.

The B.C. provincial court has also released a practice directive regarding criminal pretrial conferences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The directive, which applies to all adult and youth criminal files in the provincial court except summary proceedings, is aimed at reducing inefficiencies in the criminal justice system by employing pretrial conferences as a tool for the participants to collaborate and conduct cases more efficiently for the overall benefit of the administration of justice. Pretrial conferences will commence May 4.