Victoria lawyer and family law advocate Brittany Goud said it’s important that guardians try to work out any parenting disputes through mediation before taking the matter to court. (Cliff MacArthur/provincialcourt.bc.ca)

Pandemic prompts B.C. to suspend civil jury trials for a year

The suspension starts Sept. 28 and civil jury trials will resume Oct. 4, 2021

Civil jury trials in British Columbia are being suspended for a year in an effort to help courts remain safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement from Attorney General David Eby says they’ve made the changes in consultation with key legal sectors in an effort to find the best way forward during the pandemic.

The suspension starts Sept. 28 and civil jury trials will resume Oct. 4, 2021.

The statement says any civil trial between those dates will be heard by a judge alone and neither side in the case will be allowed to adjourn it unless the judge orders otherwise.

The government says the suspension will help minimize delays linked to measures needed to keep a jury safe from COVID-19 while in court.

Law Society of B.C. president Craig Ferris and Jennifer Brun, the president of the B.C. branch of the Canadian Bar Association, say their groups support changes that ensure some civil cases can continue during the pandemic.

The Canadian Press

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