Focus On

B.C. Supreme Court releases notice on criminal matters; Appeal Court allowing viewing of hearings

Friday, May 15, 2020 @ 11:00 AM | By Ian Burns


The B.C. Supreme Court has issued a new notice to the profession regarding criminal proceedings in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the court’s May 14 announcement, it is now working toward the resumption of regular court operations. The notice gives directions about criminal proceedings scheduled for June 1 and following. Unless the court otherwise directs, all criminal trials, voir dires and pretrial applications, and extradition hearings scheduled to be heard between June 1 and June 5 are adjourned to a fix-date appearance as set out in Appendix A of the notice.

At this point, the court expects to proceed with criminal trials, voir dires and pretrial applications, and extradition hearings scheduled to begin on or after June 8. However, the situation will continue to be assessed, taking into account the many factors affecting the court’s capacity to hear these types of matters during the pandemic.

And starting May 15, the B.C. Court of Appeal announced that weekly it will include public links which you can click on to observe live appeal hearings taking place by videoconference. You should click on the link at the time the hearing is set to take place to join the live videoconference. You will be able to observe the judges, counsel and litigants participating in the hearing in real time, but they will not be able to see or hear you. Note that the public link may not be posted until the morning the videoconference is set to proceed. For more details click here.