Canada’s Courts-Camera Coverage Catch Up

Canada in the past has been behind the times regarding media access to the courts, or lack thereof, and constraints under which they labor, according to U.S. standards.

For instance, members of the media can be prohibited from publishing or airing trial-court proceedings under certain circumstances. One provision is cited in the Canadian Judicial Council’s publication,  The Canadian Justice System and the Media, @ as follows:

“In criminal trials, judges have the discretion not to impose certain bans if they are sought by the Crown, but have no choice if the defendant makes the request. Reporters are entitled to remain in the courtroom and can take notes for future use.”

But according to news today, at least one of the provinces might be coming into the 21st Century.

Here is the opening of a Vancouver Sun news story @

“B.C.’s highest court is set today to begin a pilot video-streaming project that underscores how the province’s judiciary needs to enter the modern age.

If all goes well, the B.C. Court of Appeal will live-stream the arguments in an assisted-suicide case.

It’s about time.”

No kidding.

Canadian court officials have been hashing around with the trial courts-camera issue for years, sometimes citing the 1995 Simpson criminal trial in Los Angeles for keeping them out. So, it is refreshing to see some positive movement in that arena with our neighbors to the north.

Now, if our U.S. Supreme Court would just catch up with Canada’s.

According to the Vancouver Sun story, “the Supreme Court of Canada, has been before the lens since 1997.”


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