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Retail Case Update: The B.C. Government Considers the Future of Civil Jury Trials

March 1, 2023

The Ministry of Attorney General recently announced the possibility of permanent reforms relating to civil jury trials in British Columbia. Because of COVID-19, all jury trials were suspended in B.C. from Mach 2020 until October 2022. Now that COVID-19 has slowed down and jury trials have resumed, the province is questioning whether to abolish jury trials all together.

Alternatively, the Ministry is considering whether to continue with civil jury trials, with or without changes to law and practice, or restricting jury trials to particular cases, such as defamation, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. Should the outcome of the Ministry’s review be that civil jury trials should be retained, the Ministry will engage further on whether and how they could be reformed.

This case is important as it underscores that while an occupier is not an insurer of the visitor’s safety, occupiers must take reasonable steps to guard against the foreseeable risk that a visitor might not notice an object and trip on it. Similarly, customers must be mindful of their surroundings and take steps to look out for their own safety. This case is important as it underscores that while an occupier is not an insurer of the visitor’s safety, occupiers must take reasonable steps to guard against the foreseeable risk that a visitor might not notice an object and trip on it. Similarly, customers must be mindful of their surroundings and take steps to look out for their own safety.

There is no word yet on which way the Ministry will proceed, although we will be watching announcements closely and advise our readers of any developments along the way.

Expertise

Important Notice: The information contained in this Article is intended for general information purposes only and does not create a lawyer-client relationship. It is not intended as legal advice from Harper Grey LLP or the individual author(s), nor intended as a substitute for legal advice on any specific subject matter. Detailed legal counsel should be sought prior to undertaking any legal matter. The information contained in this Article is current to the last update and may change. Last Update: March 1, 2023.

©Harper Grey LLP 2023

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