As stated in the Court of Appeal Record and Courtroom Access Policy (the "Access Policy"), the Court of Appeal recognises openness and accountability to the public as critical to democracy and the rule of law. Members of the media and public are welcome to observe court proceedings. All courtrooms are open to the media and the public except where restricted by law or by order of a judge.
The Honourable Bruce Cohen is the Superior Courts Communications Officer. In this role, Mr. Cohen is a spokesperson for the Superior Courts and a liaison between the Superior Courts Judiciary and the media respecting the decisions of the Superior Courts and initiatives undertaken by the Superior Courts to improve access to justice or to make the Superior Courts' processes more efficient and affordable. He may be contacted by email at SCJCommunicationsOfficer@courts.gov.bc.ca.
Covering a Court of Appeal Proceeding
There are a few points to keep in mind when covering proceedings in the Court of Appeal:
Publication Bans: Media must abide by all court publication bans. Information about publication bans may be found on this site. A useful list of bans and their effect may be found in Appendix "B" of the Access Policy. Registry staff or the Court clerk at the hearing may be able to assist you with information on publication bans.
- Electronic Devices: The use of electronic devices in the Court of Appeal is permitted, provided the devices are used in a silent and discreet manner. Video recording is strictly prohibited. Audio recording is permitted by accredited media for the purpose of verifying notes - media accreditation should be prominently displayed. More information on obtaining accreditation and covering proceedings:
Requests for Interviews: Section 2.6 of the Access Policy covers media interviews. The Chief Justice and Justices of the Court do not comment on specific cases; however, requests for other interviews should be made to the Legal Counsel at 604-660-0352.
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Court Services Online (CSO): This service will allow you to electronically access certain court records for a fee. The service may be found here.
- Hearing Lists: The Court of Appeal posts and also updates its weekly hearing lists, which are available here.
- Requesting and Accessing Court Records: Sections 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8 of the Court's Access Policy discusses how to obtain court records.
Court of Appeal Record and Courtroom Access Policy
Annual Reports: Information and statistics about the operations of the Court of Appeal are contained in the Court's Annual Reports. Information about individual justices may be found here.