gavel on a laptop

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) has published best practices for electronic proceedings — and even suggested that virtual hearings may continue post-pandemic.

In a Tuesday release, IIROC said that it “has witnessed a shift in acceptance for electronic proceedings” as participants have gotten used to them, adding that virtual hearings may be a viable option “even post-pandemic.”

“We anticipate that virtual hearings will increase transparency and access to justice because technology has the potential to open access to more people and to strengthen public confidence in the system,” IIROC said in the release.

IIROC noted that virtual hearings are able to accommodate participants who face health or travel restrictions and make it easier for individuals in remote locations to participate.

In its best practices, IIROC recommends that participants in hearings install and test their systems and internet connectivity “well in advance of a hearing” and establish an alternative method of connecting to the internet.

IIROC also recommends scheduling a training session with the national hearings coordinator in advance of a hearing, and considering how to best present evidence and arguments in an electronic format.

For further details, see IIROC’s best practices for electronic proceedings.