Category:Communiques

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UN Human Rights Council Resolution - A/HRC/33L.6

At its 33rd session on September 29, 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted a new Resolution on the safety of journalists which welcomed the work of UNESCO in fortifying media safety worldwide.

Of particular interest, in light of the recent revelations of police intrusions in Quebec and the bid for a shield law, please refer to paragraph 12 of the resolution, which calls upon states to protect the confidentiality of journalists' sources.

"12. Further calls upon States to protect in law and in practice the confidentiality of journalists’ sources, in acknowledgement of the essential role of journalists in fostering government accountability and an inclusive and peaceful society, subject only to limited and clearly defined exceptions provided in national legal frameworks, including judicial authorization, in compliance with States’ obligations under international human rights law;"

United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on the safety of journalists

BC Provincial Court Post-Consultation Memorandum - Court Services Online Criminal Information(CSO)(2016)

1. No more online remote access through CSO to adult criminal case information regarding acquittals, dismissals and withdrawals after 30 days from the entry of the acquittal, dismissal or withdrawal.

2. No more online remote access through CSO to adult criminal case information regarding stays of proceedings after one year from the entry of the stay.

3. No more online remote access through CSO to information regarding peace bonds issued once the peace bond has expired on its terms.

BC Provincial Court Post-Consulation Memorandum re Court Services Online Criminal Information (2016)

The Ad IDEM Writing Prize 2016

Ad IDEM/CMLA is introducing the Ad IDEM Writing Prize for students writing on the topic of freedom of expression. The deadline for submissions is May 30, 2016 with the winner to be announced by September 2016.

For details please click on the link below.

The Ad IDEM Writing Prize 2016

BCSC Practice Direction on Video Recording or Broadcasting of Court Proceedings (2015)

Effective November 17, 2015, the BCSC has come out with modified procedures for applications for authorization to video record or broadcast court proceedings or portions thereof.

Please read the practice direction for full details.

BCSC Practice Direction on Video Recording or Broadcasting of Court Proceedings (2015)

Alberta Bill lifts publication ban on children who die in care

Bill 11 was proclaimed in Alberta on July 24th, 2014 bringing an end to publication bans on naming children who have died in the care of the province. For the full text of the announcement, please click on the link below.

Alberta Bill lifts publication ban on children who die in care

Bill 11


Nova Scotia Courts Electronic Devices and Twitter Policy May 2014

The Nova Scotia Courts have introduced a new Twitter policy which the various levels and types of courts have agreed on. All but three levels and types of Courts are going with the "permissive" version of the policy: by default, Tweeting, Texting, E-mailing, etc. for publication is allowed unless the Judge says no. The three Courts that cannot adopt the "permissive" version are the Youth Court, Mental Health Court and Family Court. They chose the "restrictive" version of the policy; none of the above allowed without the permission of the Judge and then only by members of the media, not the public.

The new "Twitter" Policy has been incorporated into the existing "Use of Electronic Devices" policy. Please read the amended policies below for full details.

Nova Scotia Courts Permissive Electronic Devices and Twitter Policy May 2014

Nova Scotia Youth and Mental Health Courts Restrictive Electronic Devices and Twitter Policy May 2014

Nova Scotia Family Court Restrictive Electronic Devices and Twitter Policy May 2014

Manitoba Courts - Cameras

On April 16, 2014, a pilot project was announced allowing cameras in designated courtrooms. The cameras will be fixed on the judge as they render their decision. Family court cases, jury trials and witness testimony will not be heard in courtrooms equipped with cameras. Lawyers will continue to have the right to argue against TV cameras, but the assumption is that they are allowed.

Nunavut Court Records Access Policy

Effective January 16, 2014, the rules of Court for the Nunavut Court of Justice have been revised. Members of the public have a presumptive right of access to all court records. Even when a case file is sealed, members of the public have a right to know a case file exists.

Please read the policy for full details.

Nunavut Court Records Access Policy

Ontario Court Openness

Effective December 19, 2013, the Ontario Court Services Division clarified its policy on access to criminal court documents. All documents that are not subject to access restrictions are publicly available.

Please read the policy for full details.

Ontario Court Services Division Policy and Procedures on public access to court documents

Alberta Court of Appeal Electronic Devices Policy Oct 2013

Effective October 28, 2013, the Court of Appeal of Alberta will adopt a new policy on the use of electronic devices in courtrooms. Under the policy, lawyers and accredited media members are permitted to use electronic devices in courtrooms, subject to certain restrictions. Accredited media members are specifically permitted to audio record court proceedings for note verification purposes. Members of the public continue to be prohibited from using electronic devices in courtrooms.

Please read the policy for full details.

Alberta Court of Appeal Electronic Devices Policy Oct 2013

Policies on Live Text Based Communications in Courts June 2013

In June the Canadian Centre for Court Technology published a Canada-wide summary of court policies on live, text-based communications from the courtroom.

Policies on Live Text Based Communications June 2013

Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court Policies Regarding Access to Digital Audio Recordings (April 15 2013)

Effective April 15th, 2013,the Ontario Court of Justice and Superior Court adopted new policies that make copies of digital court recordings, of matters heard in open court, available to the media, members of the public, counsel, litigants, and the accused.

The release of the recordings will be at the Court`s discretion and the recordings will be subject to any court order and common law or statutory restriction on publication applicable to the particular proceeding.

The recordings continue to be subject to section 136 of the Courts of Justice Act, which prohibits the broadcast, reproduction and dissemination of audio recordings.

Legal counsel and media on the ``Joint Courts` List of Designated Media for Access to Digital Court Recordings`` will be provided with copies of the recordings upon completion of the appropriate court request form, an undertaking, and payment of the copy fee.

Self-represented parties, media not on the Courts` list of designated media for access to digital court recordings, members of the public and authorized agents who are not licensed by the LSUC, will have to obtain a court order to obtain copies of digital recordings.

Ontario Court of Justice Policy Regarding Access to Digital Audio Recordings (April 15 2013)

Ontario Superior Court of Justice Policy on the Release of Digital Court Recordings (April 15 2013)

Quebec Guidelines concerning the use of technological devices in courtrooms April 2013

Effective April 15th, 2013, the Quebec courts have adopted new guidelines concerning the use of electronic devices in courtrooms. No one is allowed to email, tweet or text from inside the courtrooms.

Under the new rules, which apply to the public, lawyers and journalists, alike, "it is prohibited to broadcast or communicate text messages, observations, information, notes, photographs, audio or video recordings from inside the courtroom to the outside".

The new rules apply to Quebec Court, Superior Court and the Quebec Court of Appeal.

Quebec Guidelines concerning the use of technological devices in courtrooms effective April 15 2013

Ontario Court of Justice Protocol Regarding the Use of Electronic Communication Devices in Court Proceedings (March 1,2013)

Effective March 1st, 2013, the use of electronic communication devices (computers, personal electronic and digital devices, and mobile, cellular and smart phones) in silent or vibrate mode is permitted, with certain exceptions.

The protocol applies to all persons attending or participating in a location where public court proceedings in the Ontario Court of Justice before a justice of the peace or a judge are being conducted or transmitted.

Audio recording of proceedings is permitted for note-taking purposes only, but the presiding judicial officer must be advised before the recording is commenced. Members of the public must obtain prior permission to make audio recordings for note-taking purposes. Audio recordings may NOT be transmitted.

Ontario Court of Justice Protocol Regarding the Use of Electronic Communication Devices in Court Proceedings (March 1 2013)

Ontario Protocol on the Use of Electronic Devices in the Courtroom (2013)

Effective February 1st, 2013, the Superior Court of Justice (Ontario) is adopting a new protocol concerning the use of electronic devices in courtrooms. Under the Protocol on the Use of Electronic Devices in the Courtroom, counsel, paralegals, law students and clerks, self-represented parties and media or journalists are permitted the use of electronic devices in silent mode, subject to certain restrictions. Members of the public continue to be prohibited from using electronic devices in the courtroom unless the presiding judge orders otherwise.

Ontario Protocol on the Use of Electronic Devices in the Courtroom Effective Feb 1 2013

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