Summary of Meetings: Criminal Justice - Nanaimo
Number of Meetings Held:1
December 14, 2020
Registration Count: 15
Guest Speaker: The Honourable Judge C. Rogers The Honourable Judge B. Harvey Jessica Patterson, Deputy Regional Crown Counsel, Nanaimo Basil McCormick, Administrative Crown Counsel, Nanaimo Other Special Guest Speakers
Meeting Title/Topic: Local Court Operations During the Pandemic
Synopsis: Many participants in the justice system experienced difficulties trying to manage during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is necessary for everyone, including Crown Counsel, Defence Counsel, Duty Counsel and Native Court Workers, to follow the public health guidelines while at the same time, ensure that accused persons are treated fairly. One area of particular concern relates to in-custody accused persons appearing in the North Island HUB Court in Nanaimo. This is a busy court, currently covering nine locations (Port Hardy, Powell River, Campbell River, Gold River, Port Alberni, Tofino, Ucluelet, Courtenay and Nanaimo). Given the volume of matters in the HUB and the concern for the liberty interests of in-custody accused, procedures must be followed to ensure its efficient operation, such as scheduling bail hearings and dispositions in advance, and minimizing unnecessary video appearances.
At this meeting, the Honourable Judge C. Rogers, Regional Administrative Judge, Vancouver Island Region, provided a brief overview of the policies and procedures in place for court operations on Vancouver Island. The Honourable Judge B. Harvey, who regularly sits in the North Island HUB, discussed the best practices for the smooth operation of that court. Jessica Patterson, Deputy Regional Crown Counsel, Nanaimo, and Basil McCormick, Administrative Crown Counsel, Nanaimo, discussed the procedures from the Crown perspective, including the management of the HUB Court lists. A few additional special guests attended to offer further direction and answer questions.