Statement by Minister Wilson-Raybould on Senate Committee report on delays in Canadian court system

OTTAWA, June 14, 2017 /CNW/ - The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, has 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 part of this commitment, we recognize that the issue of court delays is an important one. 

Today the Senate's Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee released a report‎ on delays in the criminal justice system. I would like to thank the committee for their work and study of this important issue. We will take time to review the report as part of our ongoing work, and I look forward to reading it and responding to the Senate on its recommendations.

On July 8, 2016, the Supreme Court issued its decision in R v Jordan, which created a new framework for determining when an accused's right to be tried within a reasonable time has been infringed. As Minister of Justice and Attorney General, I am committed to ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system and I am working with my provincial and territorial counterparts to secure lasting reforms. We recognize the Supreme Court's call for a shift in culture from all criminal justice actors, including governments, Crowns, defence counsel, and courts.

Our Government is making significant progress in addressing these issues. I met with my provincial and territorial counterparts in April to focus on the role 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 progress on 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.

Since October 2015, I have announced 77 judicial appointments across Canada, and 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 consult broadly 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."

 

SOURCE Justice Canada, Department of

For further information: 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, media@justice.gc.ca

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