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Question obtaining a court order for transcripts.


Bob Burger
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Bob Burger
  • Applicant

 

Hello, I am a B.C. resident, I wish to obtain a court order for the transcript (R v CANTRILL FILE NO. 2020 BCSC 1110)

Background: Mr. Cantrill is a Hells Angel and has been found guilty in the court.

The transcripts are blocked by the BC courts. I'm curious as to how come the Judge has issued this order to block non participants in the trial to obtain a copy of the transcripts. Can anybody on this forum, please provide me with an explanation.

 

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TheHungJuror
  • Law Student

I'm not quite sure what you mean by court order for the transcript, do you mean the full record of everything that was said in court? If so that may be a bit tougher to get. However, if you go to Canlii.org and put in that exact court file on the top search bar, you should get the written decision to pop up as the top link. https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2020/2020bcsc1110/2020bcsc1110.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQAkUiB2IENBTlRSSUxMIEZJTEUgTk8uIDIwMjAgQkNTQyAxMTEwAAAAAAE&resultIndex=1 I'm linking it here for reference, but fyi for next time canlii is useful (and free)!

 

Fyi I just realized that this was the oral decisions, so I think this is what you were looking for. 

Edited by TheHungJuror
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Only parties to a matter typically get access to transcripts of the proceedings. It is not unusual for a transcript of the evidence - eg the testimony of witnesses - to be unavailable to the general public. 

Decisions are quite different. If the judge has made a ruling, that ruling should be available. There may be a publication ban in place so pay attention if that’s the case. As well it may identify certain parties by their initials only or even use a pseudonym. Again, not unusual in certain cases. 

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BlockedQuebecois
  • Lawyer
1 hour ago, Hegdis said:

Decisions are quite different. If the judge has made a ruling, that ruling should be available. There may be a publication ban in place so pay attention if that’s the case. As well it may identify certain parties by their initials only or even use a pseudonym. Again, not unusual in certain cases. 

It’s also possible that the entire decision will be sealed, although that’s much less common.

For transcripts, you can theoretically file an application for an order granting you access to the transcript. The details are laid out in the Court Record Access Policy. The policy for transcripts requires the judge to consider whether or not there is sensitive or protected information. I’ve never actually seen an application for access by non-media members, so I’m not sure how likely such an application would be to succeed. In theory the open court principle would weigh heavily in favour of granting access, but so much sensitive info gets shared in open court and I think most judges would wonder why you’re so curious. 

The other consideration is that transcripts aren’t usually prepared for criminal proceedings unless there’s an appeal. So even if you applied and were successful, you’d need to pay a pretty penny to have transcripts prepared. The better option would just be to get access to the audio recording, which is again done by way of application. 

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