R. v. Jordan framework afforded young persons robust protection against unreasonable delay

Criminal Law - Charter of Rights and Freedoms - Right to be tried within reasonable time [s. 11(b)]

Accused young person was involved in fight at house party and was charged with number of serious offences under Criminal Code. Almost 19 months later accused was convicted in Provincial Court, in its capacity as youth justice court, of aggravated assault and possession of weapon for purpose dangerous to public peace. Accused alleged there was violation of his rights under s. 11(b) of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and brought application for stay of proceedings. Application was dismissed. Trial judge ruled that delay was justified under transitional exception. On appeal Court of Appeal ruled that as transitional case, Morin framework applied and delay was not unreasonable. Accused appealed. Appeal dismissed. R. v. Jordan applies to youth criminal justice system. There was no evidence that there was problem regarding delay in youth criminal justice system. When Jordan was properly applied to youth court proceedings the framework afforded young persons robust protection against unreasonable delay. Vulnerabilities of youth offenders should be considered particularly in applying the test for stay below ceiling, on second branch of showing that case took markedly longer than it reasonably should have. Delay in accused’s case was not unreasonable. Total delay was 18 months and 28 days. Stay was not warranted. Defence accounted for two to three months of delay and there was one month of delay from administrative error which was discrete exceptional circumstance. Resulting net delay was well below ceiling. Matter was transitional case and while it could reasonably have been completed in less time it did not take markedly longer than it should have.

R. v. K.J.M. (2019), 2019 CarswellAlta 2416, 2019 CarswellAlta 2417, 2019 SCC 55, 2019 CSC 55, Wagner C.J.C., Abella J., Moldaver J., Karakatsanis J., Gascon J., Côté J., Brown J., Rowe J., and Martin J. (S.C.C.); affirmed (2018), 2018 CarswellAlta 1767, 2018 ABCA 278, Brian O'Ferrall J.A., Barbara Lea Veldhuis J.A., and Thomas W. Wakeling J.A. (Alta. C.A.).

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