TORONTO — Criminal and civil jury trials in Ontario will be on hold at least an additional three months in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Ontario Court temporarily halted operations in the mid-March because of rising concerns over the new coronavirus, with all criminal and civil suspended or postponed until June.
But in a notice issued this week, the Chief Justice Geoffrey B. Morawetz said the trial will not resume jury selection and jury trials until September at the earliest.
Morawetz said the court will monitor the situation and provide further guidance next month.
Until then, he said, all criminal case that has been rescheduled for June because COVID-19 restrictions should keep their date.
Rescheduling things civil jury will be left to each area of the court.
Courts continue to hear urgent matters during this time, with some hearings conducted via teleconference.
The provincial court, which handles most criminal cases, also dramatically reduce operations last month in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
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Ontario Court suspended all family and criminal trials and preliminary questions to June, and has not issued new instructions.
Officials overseeing justice continue to bail, detention and trial plea for people accused in custody, and the court a request for urgent cases involving people accused is not in custody.
They are also available to lead the process of pressing family and other things that are considered important.
Things that do continue to be heard by telephone or video conference unless instructed otherwise.
Some legal experts have voiced concern that the temporary suspension of the operation court could have significant long-term consequences.
Supreme Court of Canada makes allowance for exceptional circumstances when it imposed strict time limits on court cases, which means that every case of sudden stops likely will not be disturbed, experts say.
But maybe exemption will not be applied to cases then held by a snowball delay.
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