Yukon Practice Directive on E-trials

The Supreme Court of Yukon is ahead of the curve on e-trials. Courtroom 1 is equipped with monitors at all desks to allow the judge, clerk and counsel to view documents in large or complicated civil cases. During trial, the court clerk calls up documents from a Court Services Computer and all parties can view the documents in read-only format. Practice Direction Civil-5 calls this “electronic document sharing”.

E-Trial Courtroom
The Yukon Practice Directive includes a diagram of Courtroom Configuration

The 2016 Practice Directive outlines the e-trial process in 13 paragraphs. The parties file both electronic versions of documents with the Court and hard copies of those documents. It is counsel’s responsibility to ensure that the electronic documents match the hard copy documents on the court file. Electronic documents must be filed within the timelines set out in the Rules of Court.

The Yukon Directive says it will be implemented in civil matters where it is requested, consented to by the parties or ordered at case management, the action will proceed with “electronic sharing of documents filed in court”.

It says its designed to eliminate “the inconvenience associated with bringing large amounts of documents to and from the courtroom”, and to “to reduce delays and inconvenience caused by searching through large amounts of paper to find the evidence being referred to during the course of a trial or hearing.”

Why it matters: This 2016 Directive puts the Yukon on the cutting edge of e-trials. In Yukon, the court clerk is pulling up the electronic documents. The Directive says it builds on a successful pilot project. We are looking for more information on e-trials in Yukon, and when we find it, we will post it to the Modern Blog.