It’s a brand new 12 months. And it’s one thing of a recent begin, after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted an unexpectedly tough couple of years. However within the realm of Household Regulation particularly, there’s lots of catching as much as do.
That’s why the Chief Justice Morawetz of the Ontario Superior Court docket has issued a December 2022 Memorandum, advising about an initiative aimed squarely at clearing the backlog of civil trials.
By way of the work of the Superior Court docket of Justice Regional Senior Judges Council, a particular session of two completely different 4-week lengthy digital trial sittings shall be held, for civil instances that don’t contain a jury.
The primary sitting (held mid-November to early December 2023) will goal the Southwest Area first. Instances shall be triaged in accordance with their age, and the chance of being scheduled for trial in cheap brief order. The second 4-week sitting (in April 2024) will deal with instances from all different areas. Pre-trial and trial dates shall be pooled from throughout the province, and using CaseLines shall be obligatory.
Chief Justice Morawetz added in his memo:
Within the coming weeks, events will start receiving pre-trial and trial dates. In instances chosen, counsel and witnesses should make themselves obtainable all day, each weekday throughout the sitting to make sure the environment friendly use of the Court docket’s time.
The Memo additionally calls upon legal professionals for his or her suggestions on who to make this backlog-clearing course of as environment friendly as doable.
The transfer is being heralded within the authorized career as being a superb first step. Nonetheless, some legal professionals’ organizations and different stakeholders have expressed concern that – in mild of what’s been known as a “large” COVID-19 backlog – two particular sittings is not going to be sufficient, and that rather more must be performed.