Supreme Court chief, justice minister studying how courts can resume amid COVID-19
OTTAWA -- As talk of reopening aspects of society continue across the country, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Richard Wagner and federal Justice Minister David Lametti have begun a study into how courts could safely begin to resume regular operations in light of COVID-19.
While courts have continued to operate, prioritizing pressing cases and adapting to new virtual and remote access tools, the day-to-day operations have been directly impacted by public health requirements like physical distancing.
The government says this new panel comprised of legal experts and government officials—which had their first call on Friday—will take a look at how various provinces, territories, and individual courts are handling the changes, with the aim of resuming “full operation of Canada's courts while ensuring the safety of court users and staff.”
The committee will develop tailored health and safety guidelines that will allow the business of the court system to continue while reducing risks of spreading the novel coronavirus as the country awaits a workable treatment or vaccine.
"Access to justice is not just a fundamental right; it is a basic human need. It is crucial to our democracy and rule of law. I am immensely proud of the actions courts across Canada are taking in this spirit, even as COVID-19 has dramatically changed the way we work,” said Wagner in a statement, vowing to find a way for justice to be delivered amid the ongoing public health crisis.