Focus On

N.S. Court of Appeal expands remote hearings

Friday, June 05, 2020 @ 2:56 PM | By John Chunn


The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal announced that it is expanding the types of matters that can be heard remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the court’s June 5 press release, in-person proceedings continue to be restricted, based on public health advice regarding social distancing. Effective immediately, the court will now accept non-urgent motions in chambers. Those matters are currently being heard by telephone and video; however, this process continues to be reviewed as the situation with the pandemic evolves.

The court notes that counsel and parties involved with a chambers motion that requires witness testimony should notify the deputy registrar, Cherri Brown, at Cherri.Brown@courts.ns.ca for further directions.

The Court of Appeal holds telechambers every Wednesday and chambers on Thursday. Dockets for each will be e-mailed to media at the beginning of the week. Members of the media looking to participate remotely in a Court of Appeal matter should refer to the processes outlined in the temporary policy for media access during the pandemic.

The Court of Appeal had adjourned most of its hearings from the March/April term and all its hearings during the May/June term. Those matters were rescheduled for this fall and new filing deadlines were set.

The court also suspended the time periods for commencing appeals and setting down motions for date and directions. That suspension expires on June 26 and will not be extended, the court said. The Court of Appeal is developing a protocol for how appeal hearings will be conducted during the pandemic, which is expected later this month. More information is available here.