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New jury trials postponed in Saskatchewan due to COVID-19

Chief Justice Martel D. Popescul of Saskatchewan’s Court of Queen’s Bench said new jury trials are being postponed due to the “health risks posed by COVID-19.”. File / Global News

Jury trials scheduled to start in Saskatchewan between Jan. 10 and Feb. 25 have been postponed.

It’s due to the “health risks posed by COVID-19 and its variants,” said Martel D. Popescul, chief justice of Saskatchewan’s Court of Queen’s Bench in a directive.

Anyone summoned for jury duty between Jan. 10 and Feb. 25 is asked not to attend court.

Jury trials currently in progress are not affected.

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“The Court of Queen’s Bench for Saskatchewan is committed to taking the steps necessary to safeguard the health of everyone in our courtrooms and court facilities while ensuring access to justice, upholding the rule of law, and continuing court operations as effectively and efficiently as possible,” Popescul said.

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“The court will continue to monitor the situation related to COVID-19 and its variants, and will update the court’s directives from time to time.”

Popescul’s said arrangements can be made for re-election to a trial by judge alone for affected criminal cases. In those cases, the trial can proceed during the scheduled time period provided there is no other bar to the matter proceeding.

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If re-election is not chosen, the trial will be adjourned to a date after Feb. 25.

“The court will grant rescheduling priority to those cases that are adjourned,” Popescul said.

The directive applies to all Queen’s Bench judicial centres in Saskatchewan.

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