WINNIPEG -- The Manitoba Court of Appeal has announced further changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including the fact it will be conducting hearings remotely through teleconferencing.

On Friday, it announced that beginning on April 20 all appeals, motions, and applications will be heard via videoconferencing.

According to a statement from the chief justice of Manitoba, special procedures will be required for in-custody criminal appeals, motions, or applications so that the accused can participate. It notes that unless the accused’s presence is waived, their counsel will have to go to Courtroom 330 with a laptop with a webcam.

A sheriff will then bring the accused to the courtroom, where an Internet feed has been set up to allow counsel to access the videoconference.

The only people allowed in the courtroom are the accused, counsel, the sheriff, court clerk, and members of the press in the gallery. Physical distancing protocols will be required.


Half an hour before the appeal hearing, the court clerk will send out an email invitation to the counsel or self-represented litigants for the videoconference. Everyone has to access the hearing using a computer with a webcam ten minutes before the start time.

For motion or application hearings, the court clerk will give counsel or self-represented litigants a telephone number and access code. Everyone has to access the teleconference five minutes before it starts.

Anyone who doesn’t know about videoconferencing or teleconferencing technology is asked to get in contact with the registry at least 24 hours before the hearing.

Appeals adjourned by consent between March 20 and April 17 will be rescheduled by the registry staff after speaking to all parties. 

The registry is still open for filings, and physical distancing measures are in place