This policy sets out directions regarding the use of electronic devices in the Court of Appeal.
“Electronic Device” includes all forms of computers, personal electronic and digital devices, and mobile, cellular and smart phones.
“Authorized Persons” mean only members of the Bar, law clerks, law students, law enforcement officers, self-represented litigants, and
members of the media.
Discretion of Presiding Judge Retained:
Notwithstanding anything in this policy, the use of an Electronic Device in the Court of Appeal is subject to the direction or order of the presiding judge who retains the discretion to allow or prohibit possession and use of any Electronic Device.
Use of Electronic Devices by the Public is Prohibited
Members of the public are not permitted to use electronic devices in the courtroom, unless the presiding judge orders otherwise.
Permitted Use of Electronic Devices by Authorized Persons
An Authorized Person may use an Electronic Device in silent mode and in a discreet and unobtrusive manner in the Court, unless the presiding judge orders otherwise. Use of an electronic device is subject to the following restrictions:
- The Electronic Device cannot interfere with courtroom decorum or otherwise interfere with the proper administration of justice.
- The Electronic Device cannot interfere with the Court recording equipment or other technology in the courtroom.
- The Electronic Device cannot be used to send publicly accessible live communication of any information that is subject to a publication ban or a witness exclusion order. Any Authorized Person or other person having received special permission who uses an Electronic Device to transmit only communication from the courtroom has the responsibility to identify and comply with any publication ban or other restriction imposed either by statute or court order.
- The Electronic Device cannot be used to take any photograph or video, unless the presiding judge has granted permission to do so.
- Only Authorized Persons are permitted to use an Electronic Device to make an audio recording of the proceeding, and such use is only for the purpose of note-taking. No audio recording may be sent from the Electronic Device.
- Talking on an Electronic Device is not permitted in the courtroom. Phones shall not be answered, but may be set on vibrating mode, unless that operation interferes with court recording equipment or court proceedings.
An Authorized Person may use an Electronic Device to transmit information from the courtroom to a publicly accessible medium (e.g. via
Twitter, Facebook, or live blog).
Other members of the public who wish to transmit text-based communication may apply to the judge, through the court staff, for permission to use an Electronic Device in this manner, but may only use the Electronic Device upon such permission being formally granted and received.
In determining whether to permit live text-based forms of communication by other members of the public, the Presiding Judge will consider whether it might interfere with the proper administration of justice.
Any person who uses an Electronic Device in a manner inconsistent with this policy or in contravention of any order that the Presiding Judge determines to be unacceptable may be subject to one or more of the following sanctions:
- A direction to turn off the device;
- A direction to leave the courtroom;
- A citation and prosecution for contempt of court;
- Prosecution for any violation of a publication ban, sealing order, or other restriction on publication;
- Other order of the court.
Questions about this policy may be directed to the Court Services Manager (or her designate), or to the Court Clerk in a particular proceeding.