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Federal Court launches webcast pilot project

Monday, January 28, 2019 @ 12:01 PM | By Amanda Jerome

In an effort to enable access to hearings, the Federal Court is launching a webcast pilot project with its first trial scheduled to begin on Jan. 28 at 9:30 a.m. (PST).

According to a court press release, the project aims to “facilitate access to a broader selection of hearings of significant public interest for the media and members of the wider public.”

This initiative builds on the court’s Policy on Public and Media Access and its Strategic Plan (2014-2019).

According to the court’s policy, the Federal Court “recognizes that both the justice system and the public interest are well-served when media coverage of the courts is accurate, balanced and complete.”

The first case to be webcast is Gwendolyn Louise Deegan Et Al v. the Attorney General of Canada. According to the court release, the action is regarding the Canada-United States Enhanced Tax Information Exchange Agreement Implementation Act and certain provisions of the Income Tax Act, which relate to the collection and disclosure of taxpayer information to the United States of America.

The trial is scheduled to last five days and will be held in Vancouver.

Webcast access is available via the Zoom application, which requires registration in order to join. According to the court release, access can be anonymous as registration doesn’t require a user’s real name or address.

“The standard e-mail naming convention (e.g., XX@XX.XX) will suffice in order to activate the ‘Join Webinar’ button,” the release states.