Starting today (Thursday, Aug. 19th), the Province is asking British Columbians to share their thoughts on the future of the civil jury process.
The Province says public consultation is the next step in a process to determine what measures, if any, should be implemented by the province in relation to civil juries to support courts and the individuals who use them.
The Province says they are considering three options:
- Continuing with civil jury trials, with or without changes to law and practice.
- Restricting jury trials to particular cases, such as defamation, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution.
- Abolishing jury trials in civil matters.
The Province says this public consultation on a report provided by the BC Law Institute, at the request of the Ministry of Attorney General. The ministry requested the institute conduct legal research on jury trials and suggest options to the Province.
The consultation will run until September 30th, 2021, and feedback can be given on the province’s website.
Jury trials were suspended in March 2020 to keep courts safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Criminal jury trials resumed in September 2020.