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Brooks docket court returns to the city after virtual proceedings in Medicine Hat since pandemic began

Posted on June 22, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

Southern Alberta Newspapers

Brooks docket court has returned to the Brooks Courthouse after more than two years of remote proceedings held at the Medicine Hat Court Complex.

Medicine Hat-based Justice Mark Mastel presided in person over the session on June 7, dealing with a host of proceedings in the re-opened court room.

Prosecutor Brian Shantz appeared for the Crown before the bench, along with a number of defence attorneys appearing over the video-conferencing system.

It was a return to semi-normal procedure after matters related to the Brooks district had been heard in a dedicated court room in Medicine Hat since March 2020.

At that point courts changed procedure and operations at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

In change of practice since then, attorneys are now allowed to appear via video conferencing system on most minor procedural matters but must attend in person for more complex matters, such as dispositions or to file applications or make arguments.

Rules requiring the appearance of defendants were also generally relaxed over that time as well.

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