Remote Attendance in Court

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General Principles

See also: Counsel Appearing by Telepresence

s. 2
...
"audioconference" means any means of telecommunication that allows the judge or justice and any individual to communicate orally in a proceeding; (audioconférence)

"videoconference" means any means of telecommunication that allows the judge, justice or chairperson of a Review Board, as defined in subsection 672.1(1), and any individual to engage in simultaneous visual and oral communication in a proceeding; (vidéoconférence)

...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 2; R.S., 1985, c. 11 (1st Supp.), s. 2, c. 27 (1st Supp.), ss. 2, 203, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 61, c. 1 (2nd Supp.), s. 213, c. 27 (2nd Supp.), s. 10, c. 35 (2nd Supp.), s. 34, c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 55, c. 40 (4th Supp.), s. 2; 1990, c. 17, s. 7; 1991, c. 1, s. 28, c. 40, s. 1, c. 43, ss. 1, 9; 1992, c. 20, s. 216, c. 51, s. 32; 1993, c. 28, s. 78, c. 34, s. 59; 1994, c. 44, s. 2; 1995, c. 29, ss. 39, 40, c. 39, s. 138; 1997, c. 23, s. 1; 1998, c. 30, s. 14; 1999, c. 3, s. 25, c. 5, s. 1, c. 25, s. 1(Preamble), c. 28, s. 155; 2000, c. 12, s. 91, c. 25, s. 1(F); 2001, c. 32, s. 1, c. 41, ss. 2, 131; 2002, c. 7, s. 137, c. 22, s. 324; 2003, c. 21, s. 1; 2004, c. 3, s. 1; 2005, c. 10, s. 34, c. 38, s. 58, c. 40, ss. 1, 7; 2006, c. 14, s. 1; 2007, c. 13, s. 1; 2012, c.1, s. 160, c. 19, s. 371; 2013, c. 13, s. 2; 2014, c. 17, s. 1, c. 23, s. 2, c. 25, s. 2; 2015, c. 3, s. 44, c. 13, s. 3, c. 20, s. 15; 2018, c. 21, s. 12; 2019, c. 13, s. 140; 2019, c. 25, s. 1.

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PART XXII.‍01 
Remote Attendance by Certain Persons
Principles
Attendance

715.21 Except as otherwise provided in this Act, a person who appears at, participates in or presides at a proceeding shall do so personally.

2019, c. 25, s. 292.

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Provisions providing for audioconference or videoconference

715.‍22 The purpose of the provisions of this Act that allow a person to appear at, participate in or preside at a proceeding by audioconference or videoconference, in accordance with the rules of court, is to serve the proper administration of justice, including by ensuring fair and efficient proceedings and enhancing access to justice.

2019, c. 25, s. 292.

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Accused
Appearance by audioconference or videoconference

715.‍23 (1) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the court may order an accused to appear by audioconference or videoconference, if the court is of the opinion that it would be appropriate having regard to all the circumstances, including

(a) the location and personal circumstances of the accused;
(b) the costs that would be incurred if the accused were to appear personally;
(c) the suitability of the location from where the accused will appear;
(d) the accused’s right to a fair and public hearing; and
(e) the nature and seriousness of the offence.
Reasons

(2) If the court does not make an order under subsection (1) it shall include in the record a statement of the reasons for not doing so.

Cessation

(3) The court may, at any time, cease the use of the technological means referred to in subsection (1) and take any measure that the court considers appropriate in the circumstances to have the accused appear at the proceeding.

Accused in prison

715.‍24 Despite anything in this Act, if an accused who is in prison does not have access to legal advice during the proceedings, the court shall, before permitting the accused to appear by videoconference, be satisfied that the accused will be able to understand the proceedings and that any decisions made by the accused during the proceedings will be voluntary.

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Participants
Definition of participant

715.‍25 (1) In this section, "participant" means any person, other than an accused, a witness, a juror, a judge or a justice, who may participate in a proceeding.

Participation by audioconference or videoconference

(2) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the court may order a participant to participate in a proceeding by audioconference or videoconference, if the court is of the opinion that it would be appropriate having regard to all the circumstances, including

(a) the location and personal circumstances of the participant;
(b) the costs that would be incurred if the participant were to participate personally;
(c) the nature of the participation;
(d) the suitability of the location from where the participant will participate;
(e) the accused’s right to a fair and public hearing; and
(f) the nature and seriousness of the offence.
Reasons

(3) If the court does not make an order under subsection (2) it shall include in the record a statement of the reasons for not doing so.

Cessation

(4) The court may, at any time, cease the use of the technological means referred to in subsection (2) and take any measure that the court considers appropriate in the circumstances to have the participant participate in the proceeding.

Costs

(5) Unless the court orders otherwise, a party who has a participant participate by audioconference or videoconference shall pay any costs associated with the use of that technology.


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Judge or Justice
Presiding by audioconference or videoconference

715.‍26 (1) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the judge or justice may preside at the proceeding by audioconference or videoconference, if the judge or justice considers it necessary having regard to all the circumstances, including (a) the accused’s right to a fair and public hearing; (b) the nature of the witness’ anticipated evidence; (c) the nature and seriousness of the offence; and (d) the suitability of the location from where the judge or justice will preside.

Reasons

(2) The judge or justice shall include in the record a statement of the judge or justice’s reasons for the decision to preside at the proceeding by audioconference or videoconference.

Cessation

(3) The judge or justice may, at any time, cease the use of the technological means referred to in subsection (1) and take any measure that the judge or justice considers appropriate in the circumstances to preside at the proceeding.

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Appearance in Court of Appeal

Appearance by Parties

683
...

Virtual presence of parties

(2.1) In proceedings under this section, the court of appeal may order that the presence of a party may be by any technological means satisfactory to the court that permits the court and the other party or parties to communicate simultaneously.
...

Application of sections 715.25 and 715.26

(2.3) Sections 715.25 [provisions re participants for audio and video conference] and 715.26 [judge or justice appearing by audio or videoconference] apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, to proceedings under this section.
...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 683; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 144, c. 23 (4th Supp.), s. 5; 1995, c. 22, s. 10; 1997, c. 18, ss. 97, 141; 1999, c. 25, s. 15(Preamble); 2002, c. 13, s. 67; 2008, c. 18, s. 29; 2019, c. 25, s. 281.

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Appearance by Witnesses

See also: Appellate Evidence

683
...

Virtual presence of witnesses

(2.2) Sections 714.1 to 714.8 [video and audio evidence] apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, to examinations and cross-examinations of witnesses under this section.
...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 683; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 144, c. 23 (4th Supp.), s. 5; 1995, c. 22, s. 10; 1997, c. 18, ss. 97, 141; 1999, c. 25, s. 15(Preamble); 2002, c. 13, s. 67; 2008, c. 18, s. 29; 2019, c. 25, s. 281.
[annotation(s) added]

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