BC Civil Proceedings Must Be Conducted in English Only

The BC Court of Appeal delivered reasons for judgement today (Conseil Scolaire Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique v. British Columbia) addressing whether “a Supreme Court judge presiding in British Columbia over a civil proceeding has the discretion to permit documents in the French language to be filed as exhibits to an affidavit without accompanying English translations“.
The Court of Appeal held that this is not permitted and that all evidence must be in English or translated into English.   After canvassing a fairly lengthy statutory history the Court concluded as follows:
[64] Having found that the requirement for civil proceedings in British Columbia to be conducted in English is prescribed by statute, I conclude that there is no discretion for a judge of the Supreme Court of British Columbia presiding over civil proceedings to admit documentary evidence in any other language for the truth of its contents without an accompanying English translation

Conseil Scolaire Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, Language Rights

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ERIK
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When not writing the BC Injury Law Blog, Erik is the managing partner at MacIsaac & Company, based in Victoria, B.C. He is also involved with combative sports regulatory issues and authors the Combat Sports Law Blog.

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