TORONTO, June 30, 2017 /CNW/ - Koskie Minsky LLP and Henein Hutchison LLP have commenced a class action against the Province of Ontario alleging that chronic delays in bail hearings have violated the rights of accused persons.
The statement of claim issued on June 29, 2017 alleges, among other things, that the bail hearing system in Ontario has been administered in a manner which is negligent and in breach of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The claim alleges that for many years the bail hearing system has been mismanaged, resulting in overcrowded dockets, under-resourced courts, excessive travel requirements and lack of interpreters. The mismanagement is alleged to have led to routine violations of the class members' rights to a timely bail hearing.
The proposed class includes all persons who were arrested and detained for a period of more than 24 hours prior to any meaningful bail hearing being available for the time period of January 1, 2000 to the present.
Ms. Robin Cirillo is the proposed representative plaintiff. Ms. Cirillo was detained for two nights in jail, traveled over 130 kilometres and was denied a meaningful bail hearing for 36 hours after her arrest. She was eventually granted bail on consent.
Scott Hutchison, a partner at Henein Hutchison LLP, stated "The right of an accused person to be considered for bail in a timely manner is an essential element of our justice system. The bail hearing system in Ontario has been broken for many years now. Systemic violations of the most basic rights of an accused person have become routine and inevitable. It is time the Province is held to account for these violations."
Kirk Baert, a partner at Koskie Minsky LLP, stated "Numerous independent reviews have warned that the bail hearing system is overcrowded and under-resourced. It has been well known for years that the most basic rights of accused persons cannot be met. Many accused persons are already marginalized and the wilful blindness to the repeat violation of their rights is unacceptable."
SOURCE Koskie Minsky LLP