Lawyers in BC can now listen to recordings of Provincial Court adult criminal proceedings and access some adult criminal court records remotely, without leaving the office.
Since March, about 500 BC family lawyers have been using the Access to Court Materials platform (ACM) to see court records, including orders, in Provincial Court family cases. The Court Services Branch of the BC government has now expanded this initiative to include access to certain criminal court records.
What does this mean for a criminal lawyer?
Practising lawyers (members of the BC bar) can now access digital versions of Informations, records of proceedings, and DARS log notes in Provincial Court adult criminal proceedings. You can even download and print documents, if needed. Counsel of record can also listen to Provincial Court adult criminal audio recordings (“DARS”) on a computer.
However, ACM does not include sealed or in camera hearings, Provincial Court traffic and youth matters, or BC Supreme Court or Court of Appeal records.
How do you get started?
You will need to:
• Use a smart phone to download the BC Wallet App
• Download the BC Services App
• Follow the steps at https://justice.gov.bc.ca/dars/pre-vc-auth/access-requirements/
Your legal and ethical duties
When you login to the ACM platform, you’ll have to sign an electronic undertaking, including to adhere to the terms of any applicable court access policies and publication bans. So before using ACM, review the undertaking and the access policies to ensure you know the rules. Your use of the ACM program is subject to audit.