Practice Direction: Judge-led Intensive Case Management Courts


Published September 3, 2021; last updated May 8, 2023


  1. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a very large volume of cases in the Ontario Court of Justice case management courts. To address this backlog of cases, the Court has established a new case management court – the Judge-led Intensive Case Management Court (JICMC) – in every base court location across the province. The JICMCs supplement and assist the permanent (“regular”) case management courts already operating at each court location.

Threshold / Scope of Cases for the JICMC

  1. Cases will be referred into the JICMC based on case age, with priority given to older cases.
  2. Unless otherwise directed by the Regional Senior Judge or designate, all cases in “regular” case management courts that are 15 months or older will be referred to the JICMC.
  3. At the direction of the Regional Senior Judge or designate, the age threshold for referral to a JICMC may be adjusted in a location to account for case volumes. For example, if a location has already addressed most cases at the 15-month threshold, it may lower the threshold (e.g. 12 months)
  4. Cases that meet the age threshold but do not require further case management may be adjourned into a different court. For example,
    • if a trial or preliminary inquiry date is set and no outstanding issues require an intervening date (other than a confirmation / second event), the case can be adjourned to the confirmation / second event date, rather than the JICMC
    • if the matter is resolving, the matter may be adjourned to a plea / resolution court, rather than the JICMC.
  5. Both counsel matters and self-represented accused matters will be referred to the JICMC.

Appearances in the JICMC

  1. Unless otherwise directed by a judicial officer, accused persons and counsel may appear in the JICMC virtually (using Zoom) or in person.
  2. Accused persons who attend using Zoom, are encouraged to appear by videoconference wherever possible, however, they may attend by audioconference (telephone), unless a judicial officer orders otherwise.
  3. Counsel who attend using Zoom are expected to attend by videoconference. Counsel who cannot attend by videoconference may attend by audioconference (telephone) with permission of a judicial officer.
  4. Note: Nothing in this notice affects the authority of a judicial officer to direct that an accused person or counsel appear in court using a particular mode of appearance. In adjourning any matter, a judicial officer may direct that the accused or counsel attend the next court date in person to ensure a meaningful appearance to move their matter forward.
  5. The connection information for the JICMC in each court location is available in the Courthouse location and information search tool on the Ontario Court of Justice website.

* Note re previous versions. This practice direction was originally issued on September 3, 2021 entitled, “COVID-19: Judge-led Intensive Case Management Courts”. Previous versions of the practice direction are available on the Archives page on the Ontario Court of Justice website.

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