From Department of Justice Canada
OTTAWA, June 16, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, issued the following statement:
"Our Government is committed to keeping communities safe and to ensuring that the criminal justice system protects victims and holds offenders to account. As Minister of Justice and Attorney General, I am committed to ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system so as to address and avoid court delays.
"Today, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its decision in R. v. Cody, an important decision clarifying the Supreme Court's R. v. Jordan framework for when an accused's right to be tried within a reasonable time has been infringed. While we are reviewing the decision closely, the Supreme Court stressed that every actor in the justice system, including defence counsel, has a responsibility to ensure that criminal proceedings are carried out efficiently and effectively. It recognized that all actors must collaborate to shift the culture of delays and that it will take time to adapt. To this end, the Court emphasized that "a proactive approach is required that prevents unnecessary delay by targeting its root causes. All participants in the criminal justice system share this responsibility." This is a view which I share and support.
"I have been working hard with my provincial and territorial counterparts to secure the lasting reforms called for by the high court. We recognize the Supreme Court's call for a shift in culture from all criminal justice actors, including governments, Crown prosecutors, defence counsel, and courts. Our Government has and continues to make significant progress in addressing these issues. On April 28, 2017, I met with my provincial and territorial counterparts to focus on the role that all our governments can play in shifting the culture of delay. We identified mandatory minimum penalties, bail, administration of justice offences, preliminary inquiries, and reclassification of offences as priorities for legislative reform. We also agreed to discuss giving shape to proposals for legislative reform mid-summer and to hold the next in-person meeting in September to seek consensus on a legislative program.
"Furthermore, I have announced 77 judicial appointments across Canada since taking office, and I will continue to make these appointments a priority. The new judicial application process, announced in October 2016, emphasizes transparency, merit, and diversity, and will continue to ensure the appointment of jurists who meet the highest standards of excellence and integrity.
"We continue to work closely with stakeholders and Canadians on delays as part of our ongoing review of the criminal justice system. I am looking forward to continuing this work with our partners to better align our criminal justice system with the evolving needs of all Canadians. We are and have been meeting the Supreme Court call to address the roots of delay through evidence-based policy making."
SOURCE Justice Canada, Department of
Renseignements: media may contact: Kathleen Davis, Communications and Parliamentary Affairs Advisor, Office of the Minister of Justice, 613-992-4621; Media Relations, Department of Justice Canada, 613-957-4207, firstname.lastname@example.org