Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ontario Targets Criminal Justice Court Delays

The Attorney General of Ontario Chris Bentley announced today that his department is setting targets to reduce court delays and appearances by 30 per cent in routine criminal cases over the next four years.

"To ensure transparency and accountability, the province is also making available criminal court statistics to the public for the first time."

To meet the targets, the province will be expanding 2 initiatives:
  • Dedicated Prosecution: "Under Dedicated Prosecution, small tight-knit teams of Crown prosecutors and support staff are given ownership of cases from the beginning of the court process until the case is resolved, or until it proceeds to trial. Traditionally, several Crown attorneys could deal separately with a criminal case before it is resolved. Each one would need to be familiar with the case file, the accused and their counsel, increasing the time it takes to resolve the case."
  • On-Site Legal Aid: "Once open, on-site legal aid offices will be operating in 26 courthouses serving almost 80 per cent of criminal legal aid clients province-wide. In these locations, an accused person can apply for legal aid on-site and, if successful, could retain a lawyer more quickly. Getting a lawyer on the case faster can help reduce the number of appearances needed to resolve a case, and allow more cases to move through the system more effectively."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 1:55 pm


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