Announcements

Policy on Access to Transcripts of Oral Proceedings

Dec 13, 2018
  1. The Court of Appeal of Alberta will adopt the following policy on access to transcripts of oral argument for proceedings that take place on or after January 1, 2019 only.
  2. Transcripts of oral argument before the Court of Appeal of Alberta are made available in furtherance of the open court policy followed in Canada. The official decision, however, is found in the Reasons for Decision that are issued and the formal judgment or order of the Court. Questions asked and comments made by a judge during oral argument are not judicial pronouncements. They are only one part of the process of oral argument that is designed to clarify the positions, define the exact questions or to indicate the matters that the judge or panel thought needed to be investigated.
  3. Unless the proceeding was heard in a private hearing or is subject to a restriction on access to records by statute, court order or court policy, transcripts of oral argument before a single appeal judge or panel of the Court that took place on or after January 1, 2019 may be obtained from Transcript Management Services upon payment of the applicable fees and execution of the Undertaking to the Court of Appeal for Access to Court Transcript.
  4. A transcript may be subject to a statutory or common law publication ban prohibiting the publication of certain information (e.g., the identity of the parties, children or witnesses involved in the proceeding) or to a court order or direction that restricts its use. Persons ordering transcripts are responsible for knowing of and complying with any such publication ban or restriction. Moreover, misuse of the contents of any transcript may involve civil or criminal liability in addition to liability arising from the commission or attempted commission of any intentional or unintentional violation of any publication restrictions or bans.
  5. All access to transcripts is subject to any express order made by a single appeal judge or panel of the Court, who may expand or restrict access to the transcript in any proceeding before them.
  6. Transcripts are not certified by the Court. The accuracy and completeness of the transcripts depends on the sensitivity of the digital recording system and the transcription process.
  7. The policy will operate as a two-year pilot project and may be amended, extended or terminated once its effectiveness has been evaluated.