How ODR Can Benefit From R. v. Jordan… How R. v. Jordan Can Benefit From ODR by Karim Benyekhlef & Nicolas Vermeys

11 avril 2017

As most lawyers would agree, few recent court cases have had the impact of last year’s Supreme Court decision in R. v. Jordan. A quick look at the CanLII website tells us that it has already been cited in over 200 other decisions in the 8 months since it was rendered and many court administrators have been tasked with finding new ways to comply with its teachings.

As a reminder, the decision affirmed, among other things, that:

[49] The most important feature of the new framework is that it sets a ceiling beyond which delay is presumptively unreasonable. For cases going to trial in the provincial court, the presumptive ceiling is 18 months from the charge to the actual or anticipated end of trial. For cases going to trial in the superior court, the presumptive ceiling is 30 months from the charge to the actual or anticipated end of trial. We note the 30-month ceiling would also apply to cases going to trial in the provincial court after a preliminary inquiry. As we will discuss, defence-waived or -caused delay does not count in calculating whether the presumptive ceiling has been reached — that is, such delay is to be discounted.

[50] A presumptive ceiling is required in order to give meaningful direction to the state on its constitutional obligations and to those who play an important role in ensuring that the trial concludes within a reasonable time: court administration, the police, Crown prosecutors, accused persons and their counsel, and judges. It is also intended to provide some assurance to accused persons, to victims and their families, to witnesses, and to the public that s. 11(b) is not a hollow promise.

Therefore, Departments of Justice across the country have been scrambling to find new and innovative ways to shorten delays or face public backlash should suspected criminals be set free due to an inability to prosecute cases in a timely manner. In some ways, however, R. v. Jordan was a blessing in disguise since it allowed a significantly underfunded justice system to receive new influx of capital. In Quebec, for example, the DOJ received a special 175 million dollar budget to cut delays.

To read more…

Mis à jour le 11 avril 2017 à 10 h 38 min.