News from the Courts

B.C. Supreme Court

Notice to the Profession (January 3, 2002) from Chief Justice Donald I. Brenner: Proposed Family Law Project: new implementation date of July 1, 2002

The details of the new procedures are found in the Report of the Family Law Committee to the Chief Justice, which is found on the Court's website at www.courts.gov.bc.ca.

Since the June 7, 2001 Notice was issued, the Supreme Court Family Law Committee has received many comments from family law lawyers on the proposed procedures. In the course of consultations with the bar and members of the Court, it became apparent that it is desirable to amend the Supreme Court Rules to implement the new procedures. Accordingly, the present intent is to proceed with the new procedures effective July 1, 2002. This will allow the Rules Revision Committee time to consider the appropriate rule changes. This will also give the Court time to further consider the useful comments received from the bar and develop education programs for both family law lawyers and members of the Court dealing specifically with the conduct of judicial case conferences.

Revised Draft Guidelines for Television Coverage of Court Proceedings

Chief Justice Brenner advises the profession that, while the consultation process respecting television coverage of court proceedings remains ongoing, draft guidelines based on submissions to date are available on the superior courts website at www.courts.gov.bc.ca.

Form of address in Supreme Court

Following the change in the form of address last year for judges in the Supreme Court of Canada from "My Lord/My Lady" to "Justice," the B.C. Supreme Court considered whether its own form of address should change. It accordingly invited views from the B.C. legal profession last Fall. Chief Justice Brenner thanks the profession for its input and now advises that, having received 31 submissions and considered the matter further, the Court has decided to maintain its current form of address of "My Lord/My Lady."

B.C. Court of Appeal

Notice to the Profession (January 23, 2002) from Registrar J. Jordan: Changes to the Court of Appeal Rules effective March 1, 2002

New Court of Appeal Rules have been approved and are in effect March 1, 2002. The new rules can be found on the court's website at www.courts.gov.bc.ca/CA/rules/carulesfinal.htm.

Briefly, the new rules incorporate many of the Court's practice directives, provide new forms, eliminate paper by changing the way that appeal books and transcripts are prepared, permit a certificate of readiness to be filed with an appellant's factum, allow for the filing of electronic factums, introduce rules for intervenors, require an address for service within B.C. and generally consolidate the procedures of the Court in one document.