“Amendments to Rule 37.2 of the Court of Appeal Rules came into force on October 31, 2022. The use of audio or videoconference technology will become a regular procedure for chambers hearings, while remaining an extraordinary procedure for appeals before a panel.
Requests to Appear Remotely: Parties will no longer be required to bring a motion to appear by audio or videoconference. In all instances, a party should make a written request to the registrar, who maintains discretion to waive or adjust the prescribed timelines. Parties must provide notice of a request to appear remotely to every other party directly affected by the appeal, motion or application.
For Chambers: A request is to be filed with the party’s initiating or responding materials and no later than two (2) business days prior to the hearing. Permission will be granted to the party to appear by their preferred mode, unless the registrar determines that remote participation is not appropriate in the circumstances.
For Appeals: A request is to be filed no later than ten (10) business days prior to the hearing of the appeal and should set out the circumstances giving rise to the request for a remote hearing. Parties may wish to address some or all instances stated in the practice direction. The court or a judge may then permit a party to participate by audioconference or videoconference if they determine there are special circumstances that make remote participation appropriate.
Videoconference Procedure: In preparation for their appearance, parties should refer to the Videoconference Hearing Procedure for Lawyers and Self-Represented Parties. It is recommended that parties conduct a videoconference test call to ensure a stable connection and functioning microphone and video.”
The full notice regarding this update can be found here.
“The Prime Minister of Canada has announced that September 19, 2022 will be a federal holiday and a day of mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Province of Manitoba is recognizing September 19, 2022 as a day of mourning and has announced that all non-essential government services and offices will be closed for the day.
Mindful that the Courts provide an essential service, given access to justice challenges due to COVID-19, and in fairness to Court participants, the Courts have determined they cannot adjourn cases already booked and so will proceed as scheduled on September 19, 2022.
However, in order to recognize the day of mourning, all trials and appeals will commence one hour later than scheduled.”
February 25, 2022 – In light of recent changes to provincial public health orders, the three Manitoba Courts have released a new notice regarding a reopening plan.
With the goal of a June 27th full reopening, in the coming weeks each of the Courts will be announcing a transition to an increased level of service for its respective Court.
This will be applied in all Manitoba court facilities as follows:
Support Persons — April 18, 2022: As of April 18th, there will be an increase from two to five support persons allowed per accused, victim, or child witness.
Masks — May 16, 2022: Until May 16th, masks will continue to be required by all attendees to any court facility in the Province. Masks are available at the entry to all court facilities. Without proof of exemption, any attendees without a mask will be refused entry or asked to leave. Although no longer required after May 16th, mask use will continue to be supported as a means of minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, unless requested otherwise by a presiding judge in the context of a hearing.
Public Access — June 27, 2022: Unlimited access to the courts by members of the public will resume on June 27th. As of this date, there will no longer be any COVID-19 related restrictions in place.
Main Entrance Reopens for Use, Barrier-Free Access to the Site Now Complete: Friesen, Squires
“Renovations to ensure the physical accessibility of the Winnipeg Law Courts Building at 408 York Ave. are now complete and the main entrance has reopened to the public, Justice Minister Cameron Friesen and Families Minister Rochelle Squires, minister responsible for accessibility, announced today.”
Lawyers and the public can now use the main entrance located at 408 York Avenue. The new entrance provides better accessibility, signage, and improved security screening areas. Please note that current COVID-19 protocols limit access to Manitoba court buildings to those dealing with court matters.
All levels of the Manitoba courts have issued a notice regarding the easing of restrictions in the new public health order. These changes are still being reviewed and until further notice those attending the laws courts will still be required to follow protocol including initial screening conducted by sheriffs officers, wearing of masks, appropriate social distancing and sanitation measures.
The Manitoba Law Library would like to acknowledge with gratitude that we are situated on Treaty One Territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree and Dakota peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.
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