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CBA supports speedy passage of Bill C-2 (mega trials) with amendments
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2011
 
OTTAWA – The Canadian Bar Association’s (CBA) National Criminal Justice Section welcomes Bill C-2, Criminal Code amendments (mega trials) to promote the effective and efficient use of resources. The CBA suggests some priority improvements to make the Bill more operationally effective, so it can become law as soon as possible.
 
“The goal of the proposed legislation is both laudable and necessary,” says Suhail Akhtar of the CBA’s National Criminal Justice Section. “The Canadian public has become increasingly frustrated and sceptical of the justice system in light of recent high profile mega trials and the Bill could help address the drain of mega trials on the resources of the judicial system.”
 
Under the proposed legislation, either party or the court could apply for a “case management judge” for any trial, no matter how simple. The CBA recommends that a definition of “mega trial” be included in the legislation to avoid overuse of case management. The CBA suggests that criteria be established to ensure that resources are used most appropriately.
 
The CBA encourages creativity in seeking solutions. For example, existing models of case management should be emulated. “Similarly, directives on full disclosure of the prosecution case to the defence would encourage trials to be reached sooner, lessen disputes and litigation over disclosure, and result in greater case settlement through pleas, withdrawal of charges or laying more appropriate charges”.
 
Suhail Akhtar will present the CBA submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs on Wednesday, June 22, at 6:45 pm, in Room 257, East Block. The submission is available on the CBA website.
 
The CBA is dedicated to improvement in the law, the administration of justice, and support for the rule of law. Some 37,000 lawyers, law teachers, and law students from across Canada are members.
 
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MEDIA CONTACT:

Hannah Bernstein
The Canadian Bar Association
Tel: 613-237-2925 x 146
E-mail: hannahb@cba.org

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