Ontario spearheads commitment among Canadian Attorneys General to reduce criminal court delay

    McGuinty Government Supporting Faster, Focused Justice

    TORONTO, Sept. 5 /CNW/ -


    Ontario's Justice on Target strategy to reduce criminal court delay has
fuelled a joint effort to help strengthen criminal justice systems across
    Attorneys General from across the country have committed to share
information and best practices based on their own experiences in administering
criminal justice. This will help the provinces achieve their mutual goals and
may include:
    -  Ways to avoid unnecessary court appearances
    -  Effective use of technology in the courts
    -  Incentives to foster early decision-making
    -  Evidence disclosure methods
    -  System design improvements, such as improving the flow of prosecutions
       through the Crown's office and courts.

    The agreement proposed by Ontario has received support from Canadian
Attorneys General at a meeting of federal/provincial/territorial justice
ministers in Québec City.
    The joint effort is based on Ontario's recently announced Justice on
Target strategy, which aims to make courts faster and more effective. The
target is a 30 per cent reduction in the provincial average of days and court
appearances required to complete a criminal case over the next four years.
Justice on Target is gaining national and international attention.


    "Through Justice on Target, Ontario has demonstrated its commitment to
making our criminal justice system as effective as possible," said Attorney
General Chris Bentley. "Now we're sharing our experiences with other provinces
to help make all of Canada's justice systems the best they can be."


    -  Across Canada in 2006-2007, it took an average of eight months
       (240 days) to complete a criminal case in adult court.

    -  Last year in Ontario, it took an average of 205 days and 9.2
       appearances to complete a criminal case.

    -  With 600,000 charges entering Ontario's justice system every year,
       saving one minute per charge could save seven years of court time.


    Read more about the Justice on Target strategy

                                                       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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