Ontario Jury Trials Suspended Until February Due To Omicron Variation

No new jury trials will begin in Ontario until February 7, 2022 due to the spread of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, the High Court announced Friday afternoon.

The announcement comes ahead of a busy schedule of jury trials set to begin in January, many delayed at least once due to the pandemic. Among the trials affected in Toronto are that of Hedley’s leader, Jacob Hoggard, accused of sexual assault, and Sasikaran Thanapalasingam, accused of murdering his wife Tharshika Jeganathan with a machete in 2019. Both were due to start in early January.

It’s unclear how the announcement will affect several ongoing jury trials in the province. Some had been scheduled to take a two-week break during the holidays and resume in early January.

According to the court notification, it will be up to the trial judge to decide after taking into account the positions of the parties and making adjustments to accommodate those who do not wish to attend in person.

It is recommended that all non-jury business be conducted remotely or partially remotely if possible, although in-person appearances may continue at the discretion of the presiding judge, per the notice.


Leave a Comment