▪ SUMMARY OFFENCES – Offences in some common law jurisdictions that
can be proceeded against summarily, without the right to a jury trial
• Criminal Courts
o Provincial Court (Ontario Court of Justice)
▪ Judge alone (95-99% of cases)
o Superior Court (Federally Appointed Judges)
▪ Judge alone
▪ Judge and Jury
• Criminal process is not a simple set of automatic / sequential steps
How Much Work Do Our Lower Courts Do? (Canada 2015/2016 Chart from Lecture)
• What do you think are the top 5 offences being processed in Canada’s courts?
o Theft, Impaired Driving, Failing to Comply, Common Assault, Failing to Comply
Probation (These five offences make up 50% of the offences being processed in
• How many cases do you think are completed in one year?
• How many charges do you think get processed?
• How long does it take to dispose of a case?
• What makes a case take longer?
• What proportion of accused are found guilty? Acquitted?
o Of all of these charges (1,120,659) – 40.7% are found guilty
o Of all of these accused – 3.3% are acquitted
Time to Case Disposition
• In 2015/16 median days to disposition
• Added complexity increased time
o Multiple charges
o Seriousness of offence
o Administration of justice
o Failing to Appear
R. v Jordan 2016 SCC 27
• How long is an acceptable amount of time for a case to go to trial
• SCC ruled 5-4
o Five courts were in the majority, 4 courts were in the minority
▪ The charges against Jordan were stayed – they found section 11 of the
Charter against Jordan were in violation
▪ SCC revamped the number of months it MUST take for an accused to
make their way through court