Media and Public Access

The Court of Appeal's Practice Directions (PDF) applicable to the media are contained in Section 12 and 13.

The Supreme Court is generally open to the media and the public, however, the following are exceptions:

  • The Child Protection Act restricts access in any action involving the Director of Child Protection and limits those who may be present during the hearing to the following:
    • parents of the child and persons having custody or guardianship rights respecting the child;
    • a designated representative of the band served with the notice of hearing if the child is an aboriginal child, Director of Child Protection or delegates;
    • child who is the subject of the hearing, if he or she is at least 12 years old and apparently capable of understanding the circumstances;
    • counsel; and
    • other persons as the court may consider appropriate.
  • The Family Law Act gives a judge the discretion to exclude the public from a hearing, or any part, if the opinion of the presiding judge is that desire to protect against the consequences of possible disclosure of intimate financial or personal matters outweighs the desire for a public hearing. The court may also prohibit the publication of any matter connected with the application or given in evidence at the hearing.
  • The Judicature Act allows a court to order that the public be excluded from a hearing when there is possibility of serious harm or injustice to any person.