Security screening now part of your day in federal or tax court

  • April 11, 2017

Security Screening

In March the Courts Administration Service announced new security screening procedures for those attending the the Federal Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada and the Tax Court of Canada.

Lawyers, litigants, witnesses, media and observers must consent to the screening or will be denied access to the court, says the notice, dated March 28.

People who travel frequently by plane will be familiar with the procedure: an x-ray machine and/or a physical search may be used for belongings and people will have to either walk through a metal detector or, if one is not available, be screened with a hand-held wand. Physical searches will be done if necessary. People will have the option of having the search conducted in a private area, and where possible, will be able to indicate the preferred gender of the person doing the search.

The notice from the court advises anyone with a pacemaker or other medical device that is likely to set off an alarm to let security personnel know ahead of time; similarly, officers should be alerted if you have religious or cultural items or clothing that require special consideration.

Lawyers and self-represented litigants who are coming to court with exhibits other than documents are asked to consult the Registry in advance to work out any special arrangements that may be required.

You can find a full list of prohibited items, and other details about the screening process, online at the Courts Administration Service.