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SOC323H5 Chapter Notes -Regional Municipality Of Durham, Fundamental Justice


Department
Sociology
Course Code
SOC323H5
Professor
Nicole Myers

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JUSTICE DELAYED
>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
hearing
oUsed a toilet that was publically visible, cell had no covers,
suffered a 36 hour lockdown and was not able to take his
medication
>Almost 30, 000 charges placed before Ontario Court of Justice in 2007
(Durham)
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
custody
>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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