Access to the Court

Media Access to the Court

The Supreme Court of Canada building is open to the public, including members of the media, on weekdays, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Members of the public, including the media, are welcome to attend any hearing of an appeal except in those rare circumstances when legislation requires or a judge orders that a proceeding, or part of a proceeding, be held in private.

Upon advance request and subject to prior approval by the Court, members of the media may use the Grand Entrance Hall for interviews and filming relating to the Court's proceedings. Requests by members of the media for special use of the Grand Entrance Hall or set up outside normal hours should be made at least 24 hours in advance to the Executive Legal Officer.

Attendance at Hearings of Appeals

The Court hears appeals for two weeks each month from October through June. See the schedule for hearings for the current session.

A limited number of seats are reserved in the Courtroom for members of the media. Simultaneous translation in both official languages is available.

Audio recorders may be used in the Courtroom, but cameras are not permitted. The use of laptops and handheld devices such as Blackberries and cell phones is permitted, as long as the sound is turned off. The Court provides power outlets at the media seats as well as free wireless internet access. Members of the media may also watch the appeal from the Court's Press Room, which is equipped with a closed circuit television feed of the appeal (in both official languages) as it is being argued.

Press Room

The Court has a fully equipped Press Room featuring live, closed circuit television coverage of hearings, audio feeds in both official languages and facilities for using laptop computers. Reference copies of the factums (memoranda of argument) of the parties and interveners for the case(s) being heard that day are made available in the Press Room. In order to connect to the audio feed, a headset with a standard jack is required. The Court does not supply headsets.

The Press Room is located on the first floor adjacent to the Courtroom.

Video Recordings of Appeals

The Supreme Court of Canada provides a live feed of all appeals to the Canadian Parliamentary Press Gallery.

The Court holds copyright over all video recordings. The Court has an arrangement with the Canadian Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) which allows CPAC to broadcast hearings at a later date. Permission may be given for limited use of video recordings of cases. Members of the media must fill an on-line Request to Use Supreme Court of Canada Photographs, Videos or Webcasts to obtain permission.