Canadian Judicial Council Publishes Model National Practice Direction

Ottawa, 20 June 2008 - The Canadian Judicial Council has recently published the National Model Practice Direction for the Use of Technology in Civil Litigation. This document was drafted by the Judges Technology Advisory Committee (JTAC) after extensive consultation with judges, lawyers and legal professionals.

The Practice Direction provides much-needed guidance to trial judges and lawyers with respect to the best practices for exchanging productions in electronic form, as well as handling paperless trials. Counsel will be encouraged to use a format of exchange which reduces the cost of litigation and improves access to justice. 

The Practice Direction is accompanied by a Generic Protocol which can be adapted as a checklist and form of agreement between parties to establish a meaningful and simplified exchange of evidence. By using a Protocol, parties can avoid expensive misunderstandings and incompatibility, without having to buy the same litigation support software. 

In July 2006, the Supreme Court of British Columbia issued a Practice Direction on the use of technology and in September 2007, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench issued Practice Note 14, both of which are consistent with the standard published by Council. It is hoped that Chief Justices of other trial courts will consider implementing their own Practice Directions based on the National Model. 

The National Model Practice Direction for the Use of Technology in Civil Litigation and accompanying National Generic Protocol are now available on the Council’s website.

The Canadian Judicial Council is composed of the chief justices and associate chief justices of Canada’s superior courts. Information about the Council, including other publications, can be found on the Council’s website at www.cjc-ccm.gc.ca. 

Contact:

Norman Sabourin, Executive Director and Senior General Counsel

613-288-1566 ext. 301