Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Richard Wagner speaks during a news conference to update Canadians on the work of the Supreme Court, in Ottawa, on Thursday, June 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada Richard Wagner speaks during a news conference to update Canadians on the work of the Supreme Court, in Ottawa, on Thursday, June 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Virtual Supreme Court hearings to continue beyond pandemic, chief justice says

Richard Wagner says video technology has improved efficiency, saving time and travel costs

Canada’s chief justice says the Supreme Court will continue to hold virtual hearings beyond the COVID-19 pandemic if participants agree to them.

At a news conference today, Richard Wagner says video technology has improved efficiency, saving time and travel costs for those taking part in hearings.

The Supreme Court began holding hearings via videoconference last year to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Other courts across the country were also forced to quickly adapt, allowing use of audio and video technology for hearings as well as more digital documents.

Wagner cautions, however, that the court system should not become completely virtual.

He notes some communities lack the robust internet systems to conduct online hearings, and in many cases testimony should be given in person to preserve the solemnity of the process.

—The Canadian Press

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