Monday, February 25, 2008

Ontario Launches Review of Complex Criminal Cases

Patrick LeSage, former chief justice of the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario, and Michael Code, a University of Toronto law professor, have been assigned by the Ontario government to lead a review of large and complex criminal case procedures.

Attorney General Chris Bentley denied today that the review has anything to do with last month's collapse of a massive corruption trial involving six Toronto police officers. The case was thrown out after judge ruled that the lengthy delays violated the accuseds' constitutional right to a trial within a reasonable time. At the heart of the matter was the absence of timely disclosure by the Crown of mountains of documents.

The Lesage-Code review will present recommendations on how very complex cases can be moved more quickly and effectively through the justice system:
"These solutions may include recommendations for:
  • New policies and procedures for Crown prosecutors
  • Opportunities for more effective practices by justice system participants
  • Maximizing the effective use of justice system resources
  • Specific federal legislative and procedural reforms that would be beneficial.
Mr. LeSage and Professor Code will conduct the review on an accelerated basis and meet regularly with the Attorney General, culminating in written recommendations. The review will draw upon focused discussions with Defence and Crown Counsel, the Judiciary, Legal Aid Ontario, police agencies and others involved in large, complex criminal cases."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:00 pm


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