Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Canadian Judicial Council Publishes National Model Practice Direction for the Use of Technology in Civil Litigation

Last week, the Canadian Judicial Council released its National Model Practice Direction for the Use of Technology in Civil Litigation:

"The Practice Direction provides much-needed guidance to trial judges and lawyers with respect to the best practices for exchanging productions in electronic form, as well as handling paperless trials. Counsel will be encouraged to use a format of exchange which reduces the cost of litigation and improves access to justice."

"The Practice Direction is accompanied by a Generic Protocol which can be adapted as a checklist and form of agreement between parties to establish a meaningful and simplified exchange of evidence. By using a Protocol, parties can avoid expensive misunderstandings and incompatibility, without having to buy the same litigation support software."

"In July 2006, the Supreme Court of British Columbia issued a Practice Direction on the use of technology and in September 2007, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench issued Practice Note 14, both of which are consistent with the standard published by Council. It is hoped that Chief Justices of other trial courts will consider implementing their own Practice Directions based on the National Model."

The Canadian Judicial Council is made up of 39 members and is chaired by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin.

Council membership consists of the chief justices, associate chief justices, and some senior judges from provincial and federal superior courts across the country.

The federal Parliament created the Council in 1971 to promote efficiency, uniformity, and accountability, and to improve the quality of judicial service in all superior courts of Canada. The Council has authority over the work of more than 1,070 federally appointed judges.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 12:40 pm

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