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Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench gives new guidance on voir dires, masters chambers applications

Wednesday, June 03, 2020 @ 11:46 AM | By Ian Burns


Effective immediately, where the accused is represented by counsel and where Crown and defence counsel consent to waive the conduct of an oral hearing and cross-examination on affidavit evidence, voir dires or other pretrial applications involving Criminal Code offences (except in cases involving ss. 276 and 278 of the Code which contain specific hearing requirements) at the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench may be submitted to the court with affidavit evidence and written argument (along with an electronic copy of videotape in the case of a s. 715.1 voir dire) to be considered by way of desk application.

According to the court’s press release, priority will be given to voir dires previously scheduled for a hearing between March 16 and June 26 and subsequently adjourned. Additional priority consideration will also be given to trials scheduled to commence this calendar year. More information can be found here.

And starting June 3, the court will commence hearing regular masters chambers applications (with an anticipated length of 20 minutes or less) remotely via Webex video and audio. Please click here for more info.