Thursday, July 24, 2014

Seriousness of charge and 11(b) balancing

R. v. Stilwell, 2014 ONCA 563:


[61]       Lastly, in my view, while the trial judge did not err in finding some prejudice, she significantly under-emphasized the seriousness of the charges against the respondent and society's interest in having them tried on their merits.  At p. 787 of Morin, Sopinka J. stated that as the seriousness of the offence increases, so does the societal demand that the accused be brought to trial.   Further, as McLachlin J. (as she then was) stated in her concurring reasons in Morin, at p. 812: "Where the accused suffers little or no prejudice, it is clear that the consistently important interest of bringing those charged with criminal offences to trial outweighs the accused's and society's interest in obtaining a stay of proceedings on account of delay, because the consequences of the delay are not great."


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