Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Use of Electronic Devices in the Courtroom

Unless the presiding judge orders otherwise, the use of electronic devices in silent mode and in a discreet and unobtrusive manner is permitted in the courtroom by,

  • counsel;
  • paralegals who are licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada;
  • law students and law clerks assisting counsel during the proceeding;
  • self-represented parties; and,
  • media or journalists

subject to the following restrictions:

a. The electronic device cannot interfere with courtroom decorum or otherwise interfere with the proper administration of justice.
b. The electronic device cannot interfere with the court recording equipment or other technology in the courtroom.
c. The electronic device cannot be used to send publicly accessible live communications where to do so would breach a restriction on publication made in the proceeding.

Note: Anyone using an electronic device to transmit publicly accessible live communications from the courtroom has the responsibility to identify and comply with any publication bans, or other restrictions that have been imposed either by statute or by court order.

d. The electronic device cannot be used to take photographs or videos unless the judge has granted permission to do so, in accordance with s. 136 of the Courts of Justice Act.
e. Only counsel, self-represented parties, the media and journalists are permitted to use electronic devices to make an audio recording of the proceeding and only for the purpose of note-taking.  However, such audio recordings cannot be sent from the electronic device.
f. Talking on electronic devices is not permitted in the courtroom.

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