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Judgments Preparation and Distribution - A collective success - JTAC - CTC 2009
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Judgments Preparation and Distribution - A collective success - JTAC - CTC 2009

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  • 1. Judges Technology Advisory Committee Canadian Judicial Council
  • 2. The new digital environment Access to justice
  • 3. Ensure that decisions found on court sites can be cited Prevents the capture of the case law by private organisations at the moment when legal research moves from books to database systems
  • 4. • APPEAL from a judgment of the Ontario Court of Appeal (MacPherson and Cronk JJ.A. and Glithero R.S.J. (ad hoc)), 2008 ONCA 466, 237 O.A.C. 324, 173 C.R.R. (2d) 209, [2008] O.J. No. 2316 (QL), 2008 CarswellOnt 3457, setting aside the stay of proceedings ordered by Gordon J., 2007 CarswellOnt 5364.  Appeal allowed.
  • 5. Example (fictitious) In the Court of Appeal of Alberta Citation: R v. Martin, 2006 ABCA 39 Date: 20060921 Docket: 0704-0185-A Registry : Edmonton Between: Daniel Martin, Appellant – and – Her Majesty the Queen, Respondent [Official English translation] Restriction on publication: By court order made under subsection 486.4(1) of the Criminal Code, information that may identify the person described in this judgment as the complainant may not be published, broadcast, or transmitted in any manner. Corrected Judgment: The text of the judgment has been corrected according to the appended corrigendum (released November 29, 2006). Before: Mr. Justice James Ward. On appeal from: An interim decision from the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta dated April 9, 2005 (R. v. Martin, 2004 ABQB 231, docket T102665). 1 2 3 4
  • 6. Avoid manual formatting • Endorsement and not E N D O R S E M E NT • Tables: illustration Enter dates as text
  • 7. Footnotes or endnotes • Use the proper tool • Even better, cite authorities in the text Citation to case law • Smith v. Jones, 2006 NBQB 435, 87 D.L.R. (4th ) 334, [2006] N.B.J. No. 198 (QL) Citation to a legislative provision • Subsection 3(2) of the Hazardous Products Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. H-3 (as amended to S.C. 2004, c. 9, s. 1)
  • 8. Distribution of decisions should be governed by court-wide policies Designation of a central distribution office Decision release procedures
  • 9. Should address issues such as • Circulation of decisions from the judge’s chamber to a central distribution office • Distribution of oral, interlocutory or procedural decisions and endorsements • Treatment of privacy-sensitive matters such as family and child protection • Communication of restrictions on publication • Redaction and anonymization policies • Corrections to distributed decisions
  • 10. It is best practice to designate a central distribution office for the distribution of decisions • To apply policies and implement procedures • To streamline the preparation of decisions for publication The contact information for the central distribution office should be published on the court website
  • 11. Should address issues such as • Assignment of a neutral citation • Application of policies defining which decisions are distributed • Application of policies regarding compliance with publication bans and redaction of decisions • Procedures to deal with hidden information in decisions files
  • 12. Model practice direction recommended by the CJC
  • 13. Practice Direction Re: Use of Neutral Citation for Case Law The purpose of this practice direction is to ensure that counsel provide the neutral citation to any case law cited in court submissions. Since its establishment in 1999, Canadian courts have progressively implemented the neutral citation for case law. When a court assigns a neutral citation, the reference is conspicuously located near the top of the decision. It looks like this: Smith v. Jones, 2006 NBQB 435, the last part (“2006 NBQB 435”) being the essential element that allows easy access to the decision. The Neutral Citation was implemented for decisions of this court on [date]. The citation is assigned by the court prior to the release of a decision so that counsel and litigants can cite and retrieve decisions without having to rely on a citation that is specific to a case law reporter service or a specific database system. Effective [date], counsels are directed to use the neutral citation where available to refer to case law in their submissions to this court. Where counsel choose to use parallel citations from reporter series or electronic databases, the neutral citation shall be the first used, as in the following example: Smith v. Jones, 2006 NBQB 435, 87 D.L.R. (4th ) 334, [2006] N.B.J. No. 198 (QL).
  • 14. JTAC has concluded its work in the area of judgment standards.There will undoubtedly be some minor adjustments to the standards in the future Do you see a need for more work?
  • 15. Source: CJC web site/Publications • The Preparation, Citation and Distribution of Canadian Decisions (2009) • Use of Neutral Citation for Case Law (2008) • Use of personal information in judgments and recommended protocol (2005) • Model policy for access to court records (2005)