The Superior Court of Justice recognizes that the media plays an essential role in promoting access to justice and thereby enhancing and maintaining public confidence in the justice system. This page contains information and links to resources to assist media covering court proceedings.

Policies and Protocols

The following policies and protocols affect media covering court proceedings. For a complete list of the Court’s policies and practice directions, please see Practice and Procedure.

This chapter in each of the Consolidated Provincial Practice Directions identifies how members of the public, counsel, litigants, accused or the media may obtain copies of digital court recordings of matters heard in open court.

This chapter in each of the Consolidated Provincial Practice Directions outlines how electronic devices may be used in courtrooms of the Superior Court of Justice.

The Ministry of the Attorney General`s Court Services Division administers access to court records, under the supervisory power of the court.  This policy addresses public access to court files, documents and exhibits.

Publication Bans

The media is entitled to publish accounts of most court proceedings.  However, in some cases, the court may impose a publication ban where it is necessary to preserve trial fairness or the integrity of court proceedings, to safeguard the privacy or safety of a victim or witness, or to protect the identity of a child or youth.

The Superior Court of Justice’s policy regarding requests for publication bans is set out in a chapter in each of the Consolidated Provincial Practice Directions.  As of July 1, 2016, any person seeking a discretionary publication ban in a proceeding before the Superior Court of Justice must (i) serve and file a formal Notice of Application/Motion and (ii) provide notice to the media using the publication ban notification system established by the Court.  See: Publication Ban Requests in the Superior Court of Justice.

Any member of the media wishing to receive copies of the notices sent through the Court’s notification system should submit a request.

For more information about publication bans, please see the Ministry of the Attorney General’s Guidelines – Bans on Publication.

Other Resources for Media

Ministry of the Attorney General – Media Resources

The Canadian Judicial Council produced this guide for media regarding the justice system and the coverage of the courts.

Media Contact Information

For information about individual court cases, such as next court dates, or if you seek documents filed in a particular case, please contact the court location directly. Addresses and phone numbers for individual court locations can be accessed on the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website.

For information or comment about Ministry of the Attorney General’s policies or procedures, please call the Ministry’s media line: 416-326-2210 or go to the Ministry’s Media contact page.  The Ministry of the Attorney General has responsibility over managing court files. As such, please do not direct inquiries for documents in court files to the SCJ Media Inquiries email account. Please direct them to the local court office.

For media inquiries regarding Superior Court of Justice policies and initiatives, please contact
SCJ-CSJ.MediaInquiries [at] Ontario [dot] ca.