Ontario Superior Court suspends jury trials amid coronavirus pandemic

Mar 13 2020, 7:43 am

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has suspended upcoming jury trials across the province due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court took the news to social media on Thursday night saying, “The Superior Court Justice knows access to justice must be available if COVID-19 disrupts court operations and is committed to ensuring hearings remain safe.”

They also said they are working with the Ministry of the Attorney General to update emergency plans, which include remote hearings.

Jury selection for future trials has also been suspended and jury panels for upcoming matters are being told to “not attend court.” However, jury trials in progress will continue, unless the trial judge orders otherwise.

The court advises that any criminal matter set for a jury trial up to May 31 should make arrangements to bring the issue forward “as soon as possible for a further judicial pretrial about next steps.”

Legal counsel will be available by phone, the court said.

The Superior Court of Justice will post an advisory notice to lawyers, litigants, witnesses, and jurors, later on Friday, about any updates regarding the coronavirus pandemic.