Alberta Court of Appeal introduces remote access to files in response to pandemic

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Alberta’s top court is making itself more accessible remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alberta Court of Appeal has announced lawyers and self-represented litigants will now be able to access their entire court files electronically.

“The Court of Appeal of Alberta has already been at the forefront of providing Albertans with electronic access to justice and is pleased to unveil its latest development,” the court said in a news release.

As of Monday, parties are now able to get copies “of their case materials and can retrieve other information about their appeals, including the full text of all filed documents, deadlines, hearing dates, outcomes and more.”

The top court has been at the leading edge of providing judicial services during COVID-19, conducting remote hearings from the outset, which prevented cases having to be adjourned.

The first electronic appeal hearing took place March 30, less than three weeks after the pandemic shut down most services, the news release noted, adding its “hearing schedule has been uninterrupted.”

“The Court of Appeal has made digitizing its records a priority,” Chief Justice Catherine Fraser said in the notice.

“I am delighted that the public portal for e-filing — one of the final steps in this process — is now being launched.”

“This will enhance the ability of litigants and their counsel to deal with matters before the Court.”

Remote hearings will continue until at least Nov. 1.

“Our goal is to deliver justice to Canadians,” Fraser said.

“Justice is about people, their lives, welfare, happiness and freedom.”

KMartin@postmedia.com

Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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