Attorney General Launches Complex Criminal Case Procedure Review

    McGuinty Government Improving Effectiveness Of The Justice System

    TORONTO, Feb. 25 /CNW/ - Attorney General Chris Bentley has asked the
Honourable Patrick LeSage, Q.C., and Professor Michael Code to lead a review
of large and complex criminal case procedures.
    The review will identify issues and recommend solutions to move large,
complex cases through the justice system faster and more effectively. These
solutions may include recommendations for:

    -   New policies and procedures for Crown prosecutors
    -   Opportunities for more effective practices by justice system
    -   Maximizing the effective use of justice system resources
    -   Specific federal legislative and procedural reforms that would be

    Mr. LeSage and Professor Code will conduct the review on an accelerated
basis and meet regularly with the Attorney General, culminating in written
recommendations. The review will draw upon focused discussions with Defence
and Crown Counsel, the Judiciary, Legal Aid Ontario, police agencies and
others involved in large, complex criminal cases.
    "My top priority as Attorney General is finding ways to make our system
of justice more effective," said Bentley. "Mr. LeSage and Professor Code's
experience with large, complex criminal cases will focus the advice already
out there to quickly identify the core issues and solutions."
    The Honourable Patrick LeSage is the former Chief Justice of the Ontario
Superior Court of Justice. During 29 years on the bench, he presided over some
of Canada's most publicized and complex cases.
    Michael Code is among Ontario's most distinguished criminal defence
lawyers, a former Assistant Deputy Attorney General, and a Professor of Law at
the University of Toronto. He has appeared as both prosecution and defence
counsel in some of Canada's largest and most complex cases.
    "The Attorney General has asked us to examine and identify the
exceptional challenges presented by the complex criminal case," said LeSage.
"Our work will begin right away and will conclude with recommendations by the
end of the summer. We will draw from past experiences and provide both short
and long-term proposals to more effectively move the complex case forward."
    "I look forward to reviewing how best to administer cases that are
challenged by large volumes of evidence with multiple defendants," said Code.
"We expect to make useful recommendations, some of which can be easily
implemented and will have immediate impact, as well as longer-term legislative
proposals that will depend on federal cooperation."
    The Attorney General will also, on an ongoing basis, seek recommendations
and advice within the ministry to promote best practices.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Sheamus Murphy, Ministry of the Attorney
General, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1785; Brendan Crawley, Ministry of the
Attorney General, Communications Branch, (416) 326-2210

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