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Charter: Unreasonable Delay

Section 11 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees, among other things, that any person charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable amount of time.

It is the Crown's responsibility to ensure that an accused person receives a trial date within a reasonable amount of time. The complexity of the case, the actions of an accused person over the course of the case, the resources available to the court and the severity of the charge are some of the many factors taken into consideration when assessing whether a case has taken to long to come to trial. If it can be shown that unreasonable delay existed, the Judge will refuse to hear the case and enter a "stay of proceedings" on behalf of the accused, resulting in an acquittal.

In the cases below, you can read the successful outcomes of some applications brought by the lawyers at Pinkofskys for unreasonable delay in bringing a case to trial.

***Click on the case name in order to read the full judgment***

R v. Chrostowski [2006] - Mr. Chrostowski's robbery charge was stayed as a result of 33 months of unreasonable delay caused by the police and the Crown during the case.  Counsel: Adam Weisberg

R v. White [2004] - The Judge concluded that delay of 10 months and 11 days for a breach of bail charge was unreasonable and the charge was stayed as a result.  Counsel: Carlos Rippell

R v. Nguyen [2004] - Delay of 21 months was held to be unreasonable for an assault on a 90 year old woman at a nursing home.  Counsel: Carlos Rippell

R v. Taylor [2004] - Ms. Taylor's charge of importing cocaine was stayed after the judge concluded that 27 months of delay from the day she was charged to the date of trial was unreasonable in the circumstances.  Counsel: Carlos Rippell

R v. D.W.M. [2003] - The delay occasioned over 32.5 months on charges of sexual assault and incest with a child under the age of 14 was held to be unreasonable and the charge was stayed as a result.  Counsel: Carlos Rippell

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