September 3, 2020
Bencher Election 2020 – Candidate Q&A Video
Are you thinking of running in the 2020 Bencher Election? Find out more about the role of Bencher from lawyers who have been there themselves.

Watch Law Society President Kent Teskey, QC, and President-Elect Darlene Scott, QC, as they break down key elements of the Bencher role, including governance, adjudication, time commitments, policy making and the strategic goals of the Law Society over the next three to five years.
Provincial Court Announcement

The Provincial Court of Alberta will enter the Final Resumption Stage on September 8, 2020. Beginning on that date, most of the remaining circuit locations will start reopening for in-person and remote hearings.

All participants, including counsel, witnesses, and accused persons, are encouraged to consult the Provincial Court of Alberta COVID-19 Information Page or contact the base point associated with their circuit point in advance of their scheduled appearance date to confirm that the circuit point is open and operational as intended. 

The Court will continue to take advantage of the remote options established in the last few months to continue to improve access to justice and to ensure safety of all participants. In particular, criminal dockets will continue to be remote in most locations. 

Individual protocols for the different regions are being posted under the corresponding area of the COVID-19 Information page. All information will be available by September 8.
Court of Queen’s Bench Announcements

In 1985, the Canadian Judicial Council resolved that, in its view, reserved judgments should be delivered within six months after hearings, except in special circumstances.

In 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. K.G.K. 2020 SCC 7, proposed at para 76 that courts standardize a process by which counsel can inquire as to the status of a verdict in criminal judge alone trials. The majority of the SCC noted (at paras 57 and 65) that the trial judge is presumed to have struck a reasonable balance between the need for timeliness, trial fairness considerations, and practical constraints. Only where the deliberation time is “markedly longer” than reasonable will the presumption be displaced.

The Court of Queen’s Bench is extending the pilot project for the enforcement of the Mandatory Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules 8.4(3)(a) and 8.5(1)(a) until further notice. For more information, please see the Notice to Profession and Public NPP#2019-03.