Provincial Court of British Columbia Criminal Caseflow Management Rules

Version of the schedule from 2006-03-22 to 2013-11-30:


Provincial Court of British Columbia Criminal Caseflow Management Rules

RULE 1Object, Application and Interpretation

Purpose of Rules

  • (1) The purpose of these Rules is to provide simple, effective and efficient management of all proceedings of a criminal nature in order to secure a just and timely determination of every case before the Court.

Definitions

  • (2) The definitions in this subrule apply in these Rules.

    accused

    accused includes a young person as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Young Offenders Act. (accusé)

    arraignment hearing

    arraignment hearing means an arraignment hearing under rule 8. (audience de mise en accusation)

    arraignment report

    arraignment report means an arraignment report under rule 7. (rapport de mise en accusation)

    Court

    Court means the Provincial Court of British Columbia. (Cour)

    initial appearance

    initial appearance means the required attendance of a person in court for the first time in respect of a charge, and includes an adjournment from such appearance. (comparution initiale)

    judge

    judge means a judge of the Court. (juge)

    proceeding

    proceeding includes a trial, application, preliminary inquiry or other hearing before the Court. (procédure)

    trial confirmation hearing

    trial confirmation hearing means a trial confirmation hearing under rule 10. (audience de confirmation de l’instruction)

    trial readiness report

    trial readiness report means a trial readiness report under rule 9. (rapport préalable à l’instruction)

    trial scheduler

    trial scheduler means a justice assigned to schedule proceedings for the Court. (responsable du rôle)

Matters not Provided for in Rules

  • (3) If a matter is not provided for in these Rules, the practice is to be determined by reference to the purpose of these Rules and any practice directions issued under rule 3.

RULE 2Effect of Non-compliance

Non-compliance

  • (1) A failure to comply with a rule is an irregularity and does not nullify a proceeding, a step taken or any record or order made in the proceeding.

Court May Grant Relief

  • (2) If there is a failure to comply with a rule, a judge may grant any relief the judge considers necessary to achieve the purpose of these Rules.

Judge May Dispense with Compliance

  • (3) If necessary in the interests of justice and in consideration of the purpose of these Rules, a judge may, by order and on any terms the judge considers just, dispense with or vary one or more of these Rules in a particular case.

RULE 3Practice Directions of Chief Judge

Practice Directions

  • (1) The chief judge of the Court may issue practice directions consistent with these Rules and their purpose.

RULE 4Notice and Filing

Notice by Fax

  • (1) If a rule requires notice to be given to the Court, prosecutor or accused’s legal counsel, the requirement is satisfied if the notice is provided by fax to that recipient.

Where to File Records

  • (2) Subject to subrule (3), if a rule requires a record to be filed with the Court, the record shall be filed with the Court registry where the prosecution was commenced.

Idem

  • (3) If, as a result of an application to change the venue of a trial, the matter has been transferred for hearing to another Court registry, any record required by a rule to be filed with the Court shall be filed with that Court registry.

RULE 5Initial Appearance

Purpose of the Initial Appearance

  • (1) Subject to subrule (5), the purpose of the initial appearance is to set a timely date for the accused’s arraignment hearing.

If Accused not Represented by Legal Counsel

  • (2) If an accused is not represented by legal counsel at the initial appearance, the justice shall

    • (a) determine whether or not the accused wishes to consult with or obtain legal counsel; and

    • (b) if so, adjourn the initial appearance for a period that is reasonable for that purpose.

Referral to Legal Counsel

  • (3) A justice may refer an accused who is not represented by legal counsel to duty counsel or other legal counsel of the accused’s choice before setting a date for the arraignment hearing.

Preparation for Arraignment

  • (4) At the initial appearance

    • (a) the prosecutor and, where the accused is represented by legal counsel, the accused’s legal counsel shall file an arraignment report and, if necessary, the justice shall adjourn the initial appearance for a period that is reasonable for that purpose; and

    • (b) only after filing of the arraignment report(s), the justice shall set the date for an arraignment hearing, having considered the availability of the prosecutor, the accused and his or her legal counsel, if any.

Intention to Enter Guilty Plea

  • (5) If the accused indicates to the justice the intention to enter a guilty plea, the justice shall record the accused’s intention to plead guilty and set the matter to be heard by a judge

    • (a) immediately; or

    • (b) on another date, if the justice is satisfied upon application by the prosecutor or the accused that the interests of justice may be served and an unnecessary trial date be avoided by adjourning to such later date.

Referral to Judge

  • (6) A justice may at any time refer a matter to a judge for directions and the judge may make any order or give any direction that the judge considers necessary to achieve the purpose of these Rules.

Expedited Arraignment

  • (7) If an accused is to be held in custody until trial or preliminary inquiry, as the case may be, or if a judge determines that an accused requires that a time for trial be expedited, a judge may

    • (a) order that the matter proceed directly to an arraignment hearing on a date determined by the judge after consultation with the trial scheduler; and

    • (b) make any order or give any direction that the judge considers necessary to achieve the purpose of these Rules, including, without limitation, directions respecting the preparation and filing of arraignment reports under rule 7.

RULE 6Crown Disclosure

Early Disclosure

  • (1) At the initial appearance or as soon as practicable after it, the prosecutor shall provide the accused or his or her legal counsel with disclosure required by law.

If Disclosure Issues Arise

  • (2) If at any time an issue arises concerning disclosure under this rule, any party to the proceeding may apply to a judge for directions.

Further Disclosure

  • (3) Nothing in this rule limits the ability

    • (a) of the prosecutor to provide further or better disclosure as it becomes available or as it is required by law, but such disclosure shall be made in a timely manner; or

    • (b) of the accused or his or her legal counsel to apply to a judge for further or better disclosure, but such applications shall be made in a timely manner.

RULE 7Arraignment Report

Filing an Arraignment Report

  • (1) At the initial appearance

    • (a) the prosecutor shall file with the Court an arraignment report in Form 1 and provide a copy of the report to the accused’s legal counsel or, if the accused is not represented by legal counsel, to the accused; and

    • (b) the accused’s legal counsel, if any, shall file with the court an arraignment report in Form 2 and provide a copy of the report to the prosecutor.

Attend Before Judge if Arraignment Report not Filed in Time

  • (2) If a completed arraignment report is not filed as required under subrule (1), the justice presiding at the initial appearance may refer the matter to a judge under subrule 5(6).

RULE 8Arraignment Hearing

Who Shall Attend

  • (1) Unless a justice orders otherwise, it is a requirement of the Court in both indictable and summary conviction proceedings that the following persons attend the arraignment hearing:

    • (a) the accused;

    • (b) the accused’s legal counsel, if any, or other legal counsel designated by the accused’s legal counsel for the purpose of that hearing; and

    • (c) the prosecutor.

Powers of Judge

  • (2) At an arraignment hearing, the judge may

    • (a) call on the accused to make an election or enter a plea to the charges;

    • (b) make inquiries to

      • (i) assist in making an informed and accurate estimate about the length of a trial or preliminary inquiry into the matter, or

      • (ii) facilitate the trial or preliminary inquiry, or simplify or dispose of issues;

    • (c) give directions to the trial scheduler about the time to be set for the trial or preliminary inquiry;

    • (d) if there is no trial scheduler for that Court registry, set the time for the trial or preliminary inquiry;

    • (e) make any order or give any direction that the judge considers necessary to achieve the purpose of these Rules, to facilitate the trial or preliminary inquiry or to simplify or dispose of issues;

    • (f) adjourn the arraignment hearing to enable compliance with any order made or direction given under paragraph (e);

    • (g) adjourn the arraignment hearing and refer the accused, if not represented by legal counsel, to consult with duty counsel or other legal counsel of the accused’s choice; and

    • (h) hear one or more applications made in respect of the case, if it is convenient and practicable to the Court and all parties.

Idem

  • (3) Nothing in this rule abrogates solicitor-client privilege and the right of the accused to remain silent.

Guilty Pleas

  • (4) If the accused enters a guilty plea at the arraignment hearing, the presiding judge may

    • (a) conduct a sentence hearing at that time; or

    • (b) adjourn sentencing to a time that provides a just and timely disposition of the matter.

Idem

  • (5) An accused who wishes to enter a guilty plea before the date set for the arraignment hearing may appear before a judge to do so on making the necessary arrangements with the trial scheduler in consultation with the prosecutor.

Setting Time for Trial or Preliminary Inquiry

  • (6) If the judge presiding at the arraignment hearing refers the matter to a trial scheduler for scheduling, the trial scheduler shall

    • (a) set a time for the trial or preliminary inquiry, as the case may be, or for the hearing of any applications in respect of the case, in accordance with

      • (i) the time estimate determined by the judge, and

      • (ii) any direction given by the judge; and

    • (b) set a time for the accused’s trial confirmation hearing, which time shall not be less than 30 days before the time set for the trial or preliminary inquiry under paragraph (a).

Idem

  • (7) The trial scheduler may, before setting a time under subrule (6), refer any scheduling difficulties that arise to the judge who presided at the arraignment hearing, providing the judge with information about those difficulties.

RULE 9Trial Readiness Report

Trial Readiness Report

  • (1) At the trial confirmation hearing

    • (a) the prosecutor shall file with the Court a trial readiness report in Form 3 and provide a copy of the report to the accused’s legal counsel or, if the accused is not represented by legal counsel, to the accused; and

    • (b) subject to subrule (2), the accused’s legal counsel, if any, shall file with the Court a trial readiness report in Form 4 and provide a copy of the report to the prosecutor.

Idem

  • (2) Subject to paragraph 10(2)(a), the accused’s legal counsel, if any, is not required to attend the trial confirmation hearing if the trial readiness report in Form 4 is filed with the Court and provided to the prosecutor at least seven days before the trial confirmation hearing.

RULE 10Trial Confirmation Hearing

Accused Shall Attend Trial Confirmation Hearing

  • (1) Unless a judge orders otherwise, it is a requirement of the Court, in both indictable and summary conviction proceedings, that the accused and the prosecutor shall attend at the time set under paragraph 8(6)(b) for a hearing before a judge to review the trial readiness reports filed under rule 9 and to confirm the time set for the accused’s trial or preliminary inquiry, as the case may be.

Review of Trial Readiness Report

  • (2) If on reviewing a trial readiness report the judge is not satisfied that the contents of the report indicate with reasonable certainty that the accused’s trial or preliminary inquiry, as the case may be, will conclude within the time set, the judge may

    • (a) if necessary, adjourn the trial confirmation hearing to a time specified by the judge to enable the prosecutor, the accused and his or her legal counsel, if any, to attend before the judge for directions; and

    • (b) make any order or give any direction that the judge considers necessary to achieve the purpose of these Rules including, without limitation, setting a time for a hearing, before the trial or preliminary inquiry, for the purposes of an application referred to in item 3 or 4 of the trial readiness report in Form 4.

RULE 11Adjournment of Trial or Preliminary Inquiry

Application of the Rule

  • (1) This rule applies to an application for an order to adjourn a trial or preliminary inquiry, after a time for an order has been set for the proceeding but before it commences.

When Application To Be Made

  • (2) An application for an order to adjourn a proceeding referred to in subrule (1) shall be made to a judge at the earliest opportunity after the applicant or the applicant’s legal counsel becomes aware that an adjournment is necessary.

Notice of Application

  • (3) At least two days before the application for an order to adjourn is to be heard, notice of the application for an order to adjourn in Form 5 shall be filed with the Court and a copy of the notice given to each party, unless a judge dispenses with notice.

RULE 12Notice by Counsel

Prompt Notice to the Court

  • (1) Legal counsel shall promptly notify the Court of the following:

    • (a) change of legal counsel for the accused;

    • (b) withdrawal as legal counsel for the accused; and

    • (c) if a time estimate provided to the Court, in relation to a proceeding, is inaccurate.

Counsel Assuming Conduct after Arraignment Hearing

  • (2) Legal counsel for the accused assuming conduct after the arraignment hearing shall promptly

    • (a) file with the Court written notice of that fact and give a copy of the notice to each party; and

    • (b) review the last time estimate provided to the Court in relation to the accused’s trial or preliminary inquiry, as the case may be.

RULE 13Continuations

Order for Continuation within 30 Days

  • (1) If necessary in the interests of justice and in consideration of the purpose of these Rules, the judge presiding at a proceeding that does not conclude within the time scheduled may order, on any terms the judge considers just, and having first consulted with the trial scheduler, that the proceeding continue within a 30-day period or less.

ARRAIGNMENT REPORTCourt File No.:
(Prosecutor)
FORM 1 - Rule 7(1)(a)Registry Location:
CANADA - Provincial Court of British Columbia
in the Provincial Court of British Columbia☐ Youth Court

(Check if applicable)

Regina v.

For Arraignment Hearing scheduled for Month/Day/Year

(Check the appropriate boxes and complete as required.)

1Name of the accused to which this report applies:
2The Crown is proceeding:
☐ By indictment☐ Summarily
3

☐ It is my understanding that the matter will be for disposition at the scheduled arraignment hearing.

(If you check this box, skip items 4 to 7 but complete and sign the date/signature blocks at item 8.)

4

☐ Disclosure, in accordance with Rule 6, has been made to the accused.

5

☐ Admissions respecting expert testimony and other evidence have been canvassed with legal counsel for the accused.

6

☐ I have discussed with legal counsel for the accused the prosecutor’s position respecting sentencing in the event of an early disposition.

7In the event of a trial or preliminary inquiry in this matter:
  • (a) it is anticipated that the prosecutor will call

numberpolice witnesses (excluding expert witnesses),
numberexpert witnesses, and
numberother witnesses;
  • (b) interpreter assistance will be required as follows:

  • (c) the prosecution’s case is expected to take

time estimatefor a trial, and
time estimatefor a preliminary inquiry
8

Date: month / day / yearblank lineSignature of Prosecutor

Print full name
ARRAIGNMENT REPORTCourt File No.:
(Counsel of Record for Accused)
FORM 2 - Rule 7(1)(b)Registry Location:
CANADA - Provincial Court of British Columbia
in the Provincial Court of British Columbia☐ Youth Court

(Check if applicable)

Regina v.

For Arraignment Hearing scheduled for Month/Day/Year

(Check the appropriate boxes and complete as required.)

1Name of the accused to which this report applies:
2

☐ I have been advised of the prosecutor’s position respecting sentencing in the event of an early disposition.

3

☐ I expect this matter will be for disposition at the scheduled arraignment hearing.

(If you check this box, skip items 4 to 8 but complete and sign the date/signature blocks at item 9.)

4

☐ I do not expect that this matter will be disposed of other than by a trial or preliminary inquiry.

5A

☐ There are no issues respecting disclosure under Rule 6 at this time.

OR
5B

☐ The accused requires further disclosure from the prosecutor respecting the following:

☐ Check if more space is required and add another page.

6

☐ Admissions respecting expert testimony and other evidence have been canvassed with the prosecutor. At the hearing of this matter, admissions will be made with respect to the following:

☐ Check if more space is required and add another page.

7My time estimate for
  • (a) a trial of the matter is

and
  • (b) a preliminary inquiry into the matter is

8

☐ In the event of a trial or preliminary inquiry in this matter, interpreter assistance will be required as follows:

9

Date: month / day / yearblank lineSignature of Counsel for Accused

Print full name
TRIAL READINESS REPORTCourt File No.:
(Prosecutor)
FORM 3 - Rule 9(1)(a)Registry Location:
CANADA - Provincial Court of British Columbia
in the Provincial Court of British Columbia☐ Youth Court

(Check if applicable)

Regina v.

For Trial Confirmation Hearing scheduled for Month/Day/Year

(Check the appropriate boxes and complete as required.)

1Name of the accused to which this report applies:
2

☐ I am advised by legal counsel for the accused that the matter will be disposed of at scheduled trial confirmation hearing. (If you check this box, skip items 3 to 11 but complete and sign the date/signature blocks at item 12.)

3A

☐ I have reviewed the file and confirm that I am ready to proceed.

OR
3B

☐ The prosecutor is seeking an adjournment for the following reasons:

4

☐ It is anticipated that the prosecution will call

numberpolice witnesses (excluding expert witnesses),
numberexpert witnesses, and
numberother witnesses.
5

☐ I have confirmed that all witnesses for the prosecution have been notified and are available to attend on the date set.

6A

☐ I confirm the time estimates provided in the prosecutor’s arraignment report.

OR
6B

☐ The prosecutor’s case is expected to take time estimate

7

☐ To the best of my knowledge, there are no outstanding issues respecting disclosure under Rule 6.

8

☐ All required notices and reports have been provided or will have been provided within applicable time limits.

9

☐ All necessary orders for the attendance of the accused and any witness for the prosecution have been obtained or will have been obtained.

10

☐ Since the accused’s arraignment hearing, admissions respecting expert testimony and other evidence have been canvassed with legal counsel for the accused.

11

☐ Interpreter assistance has been arranged for all witnesses for the prosecution who may require it.

12

Date: month / day / yearblank lineSignature of Prosecutor

Print full name
TRIAL READINESS REPORTCourt File No.:
(Counsel of Record for Accused)
FORM 4 - Rule 9(1)(b)Registry Location:
CANADA - Provincial Court of British Columbia
in the Provincial Court of British Columbia☐ Youth Court

(Check if applicable)

Regina v.

For Trial Confirmation Hearing scheduled for Month/Day/Year

(Check the appropriate boxes and complete as required.)

1Name of the accused to which this report applies:
2

☐ I expect this matter will be for disposition at the scheduled trial confirmation hearing or on the hearing date.

(If you check this box, skip items 3 to 10 but complete and sign the date/signature blocks at item 11.)

3

☐ I expect to make an application for an order declaring unconstitutional an enactment of Canada or British Columbia or a rule or principle of law applicable to criminal proceedings.

4

☐ I expect to make an application under the Charter for a remedy other than under subsection 24(2) of the Charter.

5

☐ All required Charter notices, other notices and reports have been provided or will have been provided within applicable time limits.

6

☐ To the best of my knowledge, there are no outstanding issues respecting disclosure under Rule 6.

7

☐ I expect this matter will proceed on the date set.

8

☐ The accused is seeking an adjournment for the following reasons:

☐ Check if more space is required and add another page.

9A

☐ The time estimate for this matter is adequate.

OR
9B

☐ The time estimate for this matter is inadequate and a revised time estimate is

10

☐ Interpreter assistance has been arranged for all witnesses, if any, for the accused who may require it.

11

Date: month / day / yearblank lineSignature of Counsel for Accused

Print full name
NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO ADJOURNCourt File No.:
FORM 5 - Rule 11(3)
CANADA - Provincial Court of British ColumbiaRegistry Location:
in the Provincial Court of British Columbia
☐ Youth Court

(Check if applicable)

Regina v.
1

An application will be made by name of applicant to the court on month day year at time for an order to adjourn the

☐ trial

☐ preliminary inquiry

currently set for month / day / year

2The facts on which this application is based are as follows:

Date: month / day / yearblank lineSignature

Print full name
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