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SOC323H5 Chapter Notes -Regional Municipality Of Durham, Fundamental Justice

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Nicole Myers

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>November, 2008 Globe and Mail
>Bail hearing backlog
>Accused entitled to bail hearing within 24 hours of arrest or as soon as
he is ready
>Charges against accused in Durham region recently stayed after he
waited longer than a week for his bail hearing
oJudge concluded in his ruling that backlog of bail hearings
amounted to a denial of fundamental justice
>The accused (59 years old) with no criminal record charged with
domestic assault and harassment in 2007
oDeprived of his dignity during the time he waited for his bail
oUsed a toilet that was publically visible, cell had no covers,
suffered a 36 hour lockdown and was not able to take his
>Almost 30, 000 charges placed before Ontario Court of Justice in 2007
oBail courts typically handled 30-50 cases everyday
oAt least 60% of all bail hearings were adjourned and (on average),
less than three contested hearings were heard each day
>Onus rests with the Crown when it comes to keeping an accused in
>Prosecutor has to persuade the court that it is in the public’s interest to
deprive the liberty of someone presumed innocent
>Delay caused by backlog affects all those waiting for their bail hearings
but the injustice is greater where the Crown’s opposition to the release
of an accused causes further delay
>Conclusion: accused perceived to represent danger must not be denied
a timely bail hearing simply because the prosecutor, or the court,
prefers to deal with him last
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