The country’s courts have ordered a stay of proceedings in more than 200 criminal cases since the famous “Jordan Judgment” of the Supreme Court of Canada a year ago.
The court records show that cases of murder, sexual assault, pedophilia and drug trafficking were dropped by the Crown because they were not heard quickly enough to guarantee the right of any accused to be “Within a reasonable time”. The highest court in the country specified the limits of this “reasonable time”: 18 months in provincial courts and 30 months in superior courts.
While Ottawa and the provinces have been working for a year to appoint new judges, some observers, such as the President of the Canadian Association of Public Lawyers, believe that governments will need to make more dramatic Heavy duty system.
“In the meantime, murderers will be released,” warns Woodburn.
Some are calling for increased budgets in all areas of the justice system, for judges and Crown prosecutors, but also for legal aid and infrastructure. We also hope that Ottawa will quickly reverse the previous Conservative government’s decisions on mandatory minimum sentences and the closure of three Royal Canadian Mounted Police forensic laboratories.
The “Jordan Judgment”, named after an accused of British Columbia in a narcotics case, was pronounced on July 8, 2016 by a slender majority of a judge; The four minority judges feared that thousands of cases would be dropped.
The Canadian Press has asked all jurisdictions in the country to obtain their data in order to assess the impact of this decision. It was reported that 1766 applications had been filed, and 204 had been favorably received, but 333 were rejected. The remaining motions are still assessed by the courts, have been discontinued by the defense or otherwise resolved.
On the other hand, the Crown itself refrained from proceeding in other cases, knowing that it would be immediately admitted at trial by a “Jordan Motion”. As a result, only the Public Prosecution Service of Canada dropped 67 cases before even appearing in court.
Heidi Illingworth, Director of the Canadian Resource Center for Victims of Crime, says victims and their families are outraged to learn, on a day-to-day basis, that there will be no further proceedings. “People are starting to no longer trust the justice system,” she warned.
It is unclear, however, whether the number of judgments in the proceedings has increased since the decision of the Supreme Court, as most provinces did not previously hold such statistics. But according to a study by Dalhousie University in Halifax, the number of applications and the number of judgments handed down have actually increased over the past year.
Vancouver lawyer Eric Gottardi, who defended Jordan’s accused in the Supreme Court, said the impact of the ruling would be better known in three to five years, as the highest court still granted an exception for Which were already in the judicial system. The criminalist understands the anger of the alleged victims and their relatives, but believes that this anger should be manifested in the face of governments.
Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould hopes to announce a reform next fall. She also promised to review the minimum mandatory sentencing regime. Despite a burst of judicial appointments, 49 federally appointed judges are still vacant, along with about 15 judicial appointments by the provinces.
The following are some examples of cases that were dropped under Jordan:
– Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham, accused of killing his wife with a knife in August 2012, escaped in April to his trial for unpremeditated murder. This was the first case of “Jordan” in a murder case in Quebec.
– Van Son Nguyen, arrested in January 2013 for unpremeditated murder, was scheduled to stand trial next fall, but the Quebec Superior Court ordered a stay of proceedings in March. Originally from the United Kingdom, Mr. Nguyen was declared “inadmissible” and returned to England in June.
– Luigi Corretti, former president of the BCIA security agency, has been accused since 2012 of defrauding the Quebec government for millions of dollars. The trial was scheduled to begin in 2018, some 70 months after the charges, and the Crown abandoned the lawsuit in November. It was Mr. Corretti who lent a credit card to former Liberal MP Tony Tomassi, then Minister of Family in Jean Charest’s government.
– A Manitoba judge has ordered a stay of proceedings against a man accused of sexually assaulting his ex-common-law partner’s child between 1996 and 2003, when the victim had between six And 12 years. The judge blamed the bureaucratic blunder of the police in this case, and the impact of the long delays on the witnesses’ memory, and therefore their credibility, after all this time.
– A British Columbia man accused of sexually assaulting his daughter over a four-year period avoided trial at the end of last year. The judge blamed a whole series of unreasonable delays attributed to both parties in this case.