Coronavirus: B.C. courts ask lawyers to consider adjourning cases until end of May

British Columbia’s highest courts are modifying its operations as the province’s legal system continues to adjust to the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The B.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal are both asking lawyers and their clients to consider adjourning all matters scheduled between now and May 31 “that do not urgently need to proceed.”

For cases already in progress, the Supreme Court says the presiding judge will consider whether the trial should continue, or be stood down “for a period of time.”

Jury selections for Supreme Court trials will also be cancelled until the end of May across the province. Trials that wish to proceed with juries will be given priority for rescheduling once operations resume.

A notice posted to the court’s website says arrangements can be made for criminal and civil cases to proceed without juries and with judges alone, which will allow the trials to go ahead during the affected time period.

No changes to operations or schedules have been announced for B.C.’s provincial courts, which remain open to the public.

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