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 R. v. Allen

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ID: 205

Title: R. v. Allen

Cite: 110 C.C.C. (3d) 331

Court: ON CA

Date: 19/09/1996

Justices: Doherty, Weiler and Moldaver JJ.A.

Result: Appeal allowed; new trial ordered

WhoWon: P

Issue: Unreasonable Delay


Charges: Multiple Frauds


 

Facts

arrested November 1989 four fraud related offences, arrested again in October 1990 500 additional fraud related charges, business activities, fraudulent deductions, stay of proceedings October 5, 1993 ..."The charges were in the Ontario Court (Provincial Division) for 26 months. This lengthy period of time is fully explained by the complexity of the case, the intervening charges brought against the respondent, efforts to accommodate the schedule of counsel for the respondent, and the delay caused when the respondent chose to discharge one counsel and retain another."... ..."fraud indictment was lodged in the Ontario Court (General Division) in May of 1992. A trial date was set within seven weeks of the committal for trial. The trial was set on consent for January 25th, some eight months in the future. Given the length of the anticipated trial (3 months), I do not regard an eight-month time period between the setting of the date and the commencement of the trial as even approaching the limits of unacceptable delay. The trial in fact started one week later on February 1, 1993. Had it proceeded to completion, there could be no argument that s. 11(b)" ..."delay between the adjournment of the trial on February 25th and its recommencement on August 30th which raises the possibility of a breach of s. 11(b). " Edit


Reasons

the question is not whether that delay was in and of itself unreasonable, but whether it rendered the over-all time period unreasonable. The reasons for, as well as the length of that delay must be factored into the assessment of whether the entire time period from the commencement of the proceedings resulted in a denial of the respondent's rights under s. 11(b). Counsel's decision not to make the concessions agreed upon by previous counsel made it impossible to complete the trial within the allotted time and more than doubled the length of the trial. In my view, one must reasonably anticipate that such a significant [page348] change in the time needed to complete a case will necessitate some adjournment of the trial at the end of the allotted time. The failure to complete the trial within the allotted time or within a time very near to the allotted time had nothing to do with a lack of adequate institutional resources, the conduct of the Crown, or the conduct of the trial judge "nothing in the record to support the conclusion that the chronic scarcity of judicial resources contributed in any meaningful way to the six-month delay between the end of February 1993 and August 30, 1993. I cannot agree with Justice Ferguson's conclusion that the trial judge's unavailability beyond the time scheduled for the trial was indicative of "scarce judicial resources." Edit


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