The government of British Columbia is considering whether to scrap civil jury trials, which have been suspended since March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The province launched a public consultation on Thursday on the future of civil jury trials, setting out three possible options: abolishing them, limiting them to specific cases (such as defamation claims) or continuing to allow them.
All jury trials were suspended in B.C. last year. Juries began hearing criminal cases once again last September, but civil trials remain suspended until October 2022.
The province’s consultation, which will run until Sept. 30, follows a report from the B.C. Law Institute, examining possible reform to civil jury trials.
The government noted that Quebec has already eliminated civil jury trials, while their use is limited in some provinces and unrestricted in others.