As many of you will know, the Superior Court of Justice issued a notice to the profession on May 8, 2021 indicating that the Court may be in a position to resume jury selection and jury trials in July, August or September. We are writing to advise that some jury matters are currently scheduled to proceed in July, in line with guidance received from provincial health authorities in the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s office.
Scheduling of matters remains the discretion of the court and information will be communicated to key individuals about specific proceedings through local practice.
Throughout our recovery efforts, we have been guided by direction and science supported by the province’s leading health and safety authorities including Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Public Health Ontario and Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer. We continue to adhere to their guidance, regarding all health and safety matters, including addressing the new COVID-19 variants of concern.
In our recent consultations with the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Office, they continue to assure us that the measures and protocols we have in place within our courts and offsite jury locations are among the best in Ontario – these include (but are not limited to) entrance screening, physical distancing, masking, hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning, use of physical barriers, and monitors to ensure compliance. They assure us that, when properly adhered to, our suite of overlapping preventative measures are robust, comprehensive and will effectively mitigate the risk of transmission of all known COVID-19 variants. No additional preventative measures have been recommended at this time.
We encourage everyone who attends a courthouse, or offsite jury space, to diligently adhere to the health and safety measures that are in place.
As a reminder, health and safety measures for courthouses are outlined in the ministry’s Guidebook: COVID-19 Preventative Measures, which is available online.
The Ministry of the Attorney General, in partnership with the Courts, continue to regularly engage with the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Officer, and we will continue to review and adjustment our recovery plans in line with their guidance.