Adjournments are a scourge of the litigation process but a common occurrence for a myriad of reasons.

The decision to adjourn a trial hearing is a discretionary one, governed by the interests of justice and necessitating a balancing of interests: Sidoroff v. Joe (1992), 76 BCLR (2d) 82 BCCA .

Navarro v. Doig River First Nation, 2015 BCSC 2173 [Navarro] provides a succinct summary of the legal principles governing adjournments.

The factors and considerations (at para. 20) include, in no particular order of priority:

  • the expeditious and speedy resolution of matters on their merits;
  • the reasonableness of the request;
  • the grounds or explanation for the adjournment;
  • the timeliness of the request;
  • the potential prejudice to each party;
  • the right to a fair trial;
  • the proper administration of justice;
  • the history of the matter, including deliberate delay or misuse of the court process; and
  • the fact of a self-represented litigant.


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