Thursday, June 16, 2011

Government of Canada Reintroduces Mega-Trials Legislation

The federal government this week reintroduced legislation to reduce the delays that are common in so-called mega-trials.

According to the government press release:
"Due to the magnitude and complexity of the evidence, the numerous charges against multiple accused and the need to call many witnesses, mega-trials can take up a lot of court time and tend to progress very slowly. Longer court proceedings increase the risk of mistrials (...)"

"The Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act would help improve Canada's justice system through:

  • stronger case management;
  • reduced duplication of processes; and,
  • improved criminal procedure."
"For example, this proposed bill would allow for a Case Management Judge to be appointed who could impose deadlines on parties and encourage them to simplify proceedings. The Case Management Judge could also decide preliminary issues such as Charter and disclosure motions. These reforms would also permit a joint hearing of motions to take place when similar evidence, arising in related but separate cases is involved. This would help reduce duplication of process."
An earlier bill on the same topic died in the last parliamentary session. The Library of Parliament had prepared a legislative summary of the proposed legislation in March 2011.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:34 pm

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