Friday, November 23, 2012

Merits of Crown's case where bail is sought

R. v. Gingras 2012 BCCA 467 deals with whether strength of appeal should be considered on bail pending appeal. In the decision the Court makes a more general observation about merits of cases where bail is being considered:

[46] I wish to make one last comment on the jurisprudential aspect of this case. Counsel for the appellants complained that increasingly the grounds are being examined in bail hearings almost as a matter of routine.

[47] I would discourage this trend. Not every offence is serious enough to engage an assessment of the merits. There is no need to go beyond the frivolous threshold in cases unlikely to arouse a concern about public confidence. Creating categories of seriousness for this analysis might introduce rigidity and lead to unintended consequences. Instead, we should expect Crown counsel to recognize that the continuum runs from petty theft to first degree murder and to exercise good judgment in raising public confidence only in those cases where the offence is at the serious end of the scale. I do not suggest Crown counsel in this case has failed to exercise good judgment.


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