Windsor injury lawyer and partner Jennifer Bezaire wrote a guest column for Windsor Star about why Ontario should follow other Canadian provinces and eliminate civil jury trials. A jury trial in a civil case is not a constitutional right, as it is in criminal cases.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer believes that civil jury trials have added to unnecessary expenses and delays. With Ontario courts still under lockdown due to the virus, there is a greater sense of urgency in addressing these issues within the civil justice system.
According to Jennifer, the elimination of civil juries would help save both time and money, as taxpayers must pay for the extra time and space needed to run a jury trial. Greg Monforton & Partners also has been publicly supporting this initiative. Cases could be tried online/remotely before a single judge.
Jennifer has seen firsthand insurance companies use juries in a bid to try and avoid liability and deprive accident victims of fair compensation. The use of civil juries has led to lengthier trails and even longer delays – sometimes over two years before a case is brought to court.
Her clients’ trial dates and most civil jury trials have been postponed indefinitely because the courts are unable to accommodate the extra space needed for resources and to safely secure a civil jury.
For Jennifer, justice delayed is justice denied. She hopes that getting rid of civil juries in Ontario courts could be a way to help reduce the backlog and enable these trials to proceed more efficiently and fairly.
To read the guest column in full, head to: