All in-person Supreme Court trials and other proceedings scheduled to run next week in British Columbia are being postponed, due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the province.
The announcement was made Friday by Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson, in light of “the rapid and concerning recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the province.”
As such, all in-person civil, family and criminal matters scheduled to begin, or continue during the week of Jan. 4-7 will be adjourned. One exception is judges will have the power to determine if continuing criminal matters should proceed, possibly by way of phone or video.
Chief Justice Hinkson has advised all accused people and their lawyers who have scheduled appearances next week to phone into the court at the time their appearance is scheduled for, to schedule a new appearance.
Supreme Court matters scheduled for the following week, beginning Jan. 10, “will be assessed in light of the public health situation on or around January 7, 2022,” according to Chief Judge Hinkson.
No such notice has been posted to the Provincial Court of BC's website as of Friday afternoon, so it's not clear if in-person provincial court matters will also be adjourned at this time.
A similar move was made by the B.C. courts back in March 2020, which caused the delay of several high-profile court cases in Kelowna.