If you’re a subscriber to my YouTube channel, you may be familiar with a series of videos I did about the way the courts have adjusted to the COVID 19 pandemic, which is admirable, by the way, and there was such things going on as we had virtual trials over zoom taking place, the remand system went virtual where, you know, the initial intake court where nothing much happens except it was a simple court appearance matter over and we were doing a lot of virtual guilty pleas as well on non-custodial places where a person wasn’t facing a jail term. And you know, we’re doing also hybrid trial at times, which means that the trial may take, like after a while during COVID trials came back. There was still an option to do for a while, virtual trials, it went way more recently, there was also pretrial motions, which were taking Charter applications for example, were taking place by Zoom. So what’s going on now, in a nutshell, all I’ll say, so first of all, I think it’s great that we’ve ended, thankfully virtual trials, by the way virtual trials went pretty well, I think it’s still better to do trials in person. You’ll see a debate I had with our office manager on that if you want to go back to the COVID series, but that’s all returned. So there’s no option in Ontario Court of Justice for criminal matters. In the Superior Court of Justice is no zoom trial thankfully, it’s all in person. Now thankfully for guilty pleas say on minor matters like domestic assault, impaired driving anything where you’re not facing a jail term. That option is still available virtual which in 90% of courtrooms, I mean, there’s some, that I don’t know why, I’ll name Windsor, which is one of our offices by the way, I don’t know why Windsor is kind of insisting on in person, but most of the courts of province, if you have a first time offender with facing no trial, we can still do that play by zoom, which is very convenient for first, why do we have to drag a person to court to do a joint submission for a file and one year driving prohibition in Toronto on a on impaired driving when the person lives in Kenora, Thunder Bay it doesn’t make sense, if you’re, they might drag them in and I don’t mean to be  critical of Windsor because I love Windsor courts too for many other reasons. But anyway, that’s one of the Courts that doesn’t allow , so 90% of the Courts are allowing that for all custodial matters where you’re facing a jail term, obviously you have to appear in person. The other one good thing that’s happened from COVID is even though trials are now in person, we still have what’s called an option for hybrid trials. So in criminal matters, and you’ll see pretrial applications in my other videos, Charter applications and whatnot. Things that happen before the trial that require rulings from the judge about what evidence the crown can introduce or defence can introduce, those are pretrial applications. Those are very legal based arguments involving mundane an extensive case law briefs like this, that take hours to argue sometimes evidence is called but it’s not part of the trial. It’s a pretrial application. Many judges are still allowing that to take place. So that’s called a hybrid trial. We’re part of the trial part of the pre trial is taken, I should say part of the trial process is done by  Zoom. But the real actual trial where the witnesses testify, for example, in a sexual assault matter, the victim and everyone else, the police, takes place in person. So that’s a good that’s been a good development from COVID. So the technology is really increased and done great in our Court. So I commend the court system for that. So that’s a quick update. Things are running back smoothly, very pleased with the way the court system and I’ll tell you, defence counsel the crown, and judges did an admirable job and all the court staff are really, really doing a great job for COVID or court systems back running smoothly.

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