Jury trials in Ontario suspended till a minimum of the spring

New jury trials in Ontario won’t resume till a minimum of mid-spring, the province’s chief justice stated Wednesday.

A suspension on jury trials had already been in place throughout a lot of the province for months, with new trials solely allowed in Inexperienced Zone areas of the province’s tiered reopening framework.

That suspension had been set to final till a minimum of Feb. 1. Nevertheless Ontario entered a provincewide lockdown on Dec. 26 and this week Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency and a stay-at-home order for the complete province as nicely.

The brand new orders are supposed to gradual the unfold of the COVID-19 virus and to stop rising case numbers from overwhelming the healthcare system. Whereas vaccinations have begun, the most recent modelling signifies that the variety of instances will proceed to rise quickly with out drastic interventions.

“Whereas the Ontario Superior Court docket of Justice stays open throughout the provincial lockdown, the courtroom should proceed to make crucial adjustments in response to the evolving public well being state of affairs,” Chief Justice Geoffrey B. Morawetz wrote Wednesday in an replace on the Ontario Superior Court docket of Justice web site.

“In view of the brand new provincial restrictions introduced on January 12, 2021, efficient January 13, 2021, the suspension of jury trials shall be prolonged till Might three, 2021 on the earliest. No new jury choice will begin throughout this era.”

Proceedings that had been already in progress could proceed on the discretion of the trial decide.

Morawetz stated all non-jury issues ought to proceed just about except “it’s completely crucial to carry the proceedings in-person.”

“To the best extent doable, all different avenues must be explored and carried out. This is applicable to proceedings all through the province and can stay in impact till additional discover of this Court docket.”

All courtroom rooms can even be topic to a 10-person capability restrict.