The open court principle is a hallmark of any democratic society. Public access to court proceedings fosters many fundamental values including public confidence in the judicial system, understanding of the administration of justice and judicial accountability.

The open court principle is inextricably linked to the freedom of expression and freedom of the press as protected by s. 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Included within the open court principle is the public’s right to access court records.

The Court of Appeal of Alberta will adopt the Policy for Public Access to the Court Record on May 2, 2022.