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Quebec Court of Appeal offers ‘virtual courtroom’ for certain motions

Tuesday, May 05, 2020 @ 12:20 PM | By Ian Burns


The Quebec Court of Appeal announced that it is offering parties and counsel the possibility of presenting their motions before a judge alone by way of videoconference, in a “virtual courtroom,” from the location of their choice (home or office), without the need to travel.

In its May 1 press release, the court noted that this approach, which complies with the social distancing requirements of the current health emergency, will be favoured and will, save for certain exceptions, make it possible to deal with most motions that fall within the jurisdiction of the court’s judges sitting alone, in all matters and no longer in only urgent ones.

Upon receipt of a motion intended for a judge alone, the court office will contact the parties or their counsel, as the case may be, in order to provide them with the necessary information.

As of May 25, the court will resume, on a regular basis, the hearing of appeals and motions presentable before a panel. In order to comply with the physical distancing requirements resulting from the current situation, these hearings will be held by videoconference, in “virtual courtroom” mode (unless the matter is to proceed without a hearing). Parties or counsel will therefore be able to participate in a hearing from the location of their choice (home or office), without the need to travel.

The court office will contact the parties or counsel concerned in order to make the necessary arrangements for this purpose. The court added that a virtual hearing may not be appropriate for certain matters, in which case the court office will also contact those concerned.