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Court Reforms

September 4, 2006 permalink

The Ontario Attorney General has posted a document Justice and the Media (pdf) advocating real reform in the courts of Ontario. It suggests:

  • Allowing parties to litigation, their lawyers and the press to bring unobtrusive sound recording devices into the courtroom. This is permitted by law now, but thwarted by informal policies at the courthouse, such as security staff denying admission to parties with recording devices (or even roughing them up).
  • Allowing access to case records at the courthouse. This includes providing photocopies at affordable cost.
  • Placing dockets and judgments online.

These reforms should be a real help to parents in child protection cases. Canada Court Watch reports that in a case in which they got a recording device into a courtroom, Children's Aid returned the children to the parents within an hour, in preference to having their atrocious conduct recorded.

Other reforms proposed in the document are mainly of interest to larger organizations, such as the Toronto Sun or CBC.