New B.C. rules improve court file access

Feb. 28, 2011 — Under new rules that came into effect today, British Columbia’s courts will no longer block access to the court file in cases where a publication ban is in place. Previously, journalists and citizens were barred from reviewing documents filed in sexual assault and other cases, even though other provinces permit access. The new rules also clarify that reporters and members of the public have the right to see search warrant documents unless a judge has ordered the file to be sealed.

The changes come after the Victoria Times-Colonist published a series last year that exposed how outdated policies were hindering access to the province’s justice system. Read the Postmedia News story on the changes.