McGuinty Government Plans Cameras In Court Pilot Project

Archived Release

McGuinty Government Plans Cameras In Court Pilot Project

Ministry of the Attorney General

Attorney General To Usher In A New Era In Access To Justice TORONTO, Jan. 10 - The McGuinty government and Ontario Chief Justice Roy McMurtry are implementing a pilot project to put cameras in the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Attorney General Michael Bryant announced today. "Through this initiative, we will be bringing the public directly into our courtrooms via cameras in the court," said Bryant. "In doing so, we will be opening a new window to provide Ontarians with an unprecedented view of our justice system." The pilot project is in response to a recommendation made by the Ontario Panel on Justice and the Media, which was established by Bryant to promote mutual understanding between the media and the justice system. While cameras are generally prohibited under the Courts of Justice Act, they are permissible for educational or instructional purposes, with approval from the presiding judge and consent from the parties to the proceeding. An implementation team of Ministry of the Attorney General staff has been struck. The team will work in consultation with the judiciary to determine specific details about how the project will work, including when the cameras will be up and running. "I'd like to thank the Justice and Media Panel, the judiciary, and particularly Chief Justice Roy McMurtry, for supporting this groundbreaking initiative," said Bryant. "Moving forward, we will continue to work with the judiciary to shine new light on the justice system and usher in a new era in access to justice." Bryant made today's announcement at the annual Opening of the Courts ceremony, where he and the Chief Justices of the Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal for Ontario gathered to detail past successes and outline priorities for the coming year. In his speech, Bryant also highlighted a number of recent government accomplishments, including: - The investment of close to $1 billion over the past three years to construct new courthouses and improve the facilities of justice. - The introduction of the Access to Justice Act, 2006, which will reform the justice of the peace system and regulate paralegals. The Act was passed by the Ontario legislature on October 19, 2006. - Adopting a unique, multifaceted approach to fighting organized crime called Organized Justice. - The introduction of the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006, which will improve and strengthen the promotion, advancement and enforcement of human rights in Ontario. The Act was passed on December 5, 2006. A transcript of the Attorney General's speech will soon be available at http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca. Disponible en français www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca Contact Info For further information: Greg Crone, Ministry of the Attorney General, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Greg Crone, Ministry of the Attorney General, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210