Extraordinary Circumstances in Jordan Delay Analysis

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General Principles

A presumptive breach of s. 11(b) of the Charter can be rebutted where the breach was under "extraordinary circumstances".[1]

"Extraordinary circumstances" can be established where the delay was "outside the Crown's control" such that:[2]

  1. the delays are "reasonably unforeseen or reasonably unavoidable" and
  2. "Crown counsel cannot reasonably remedy the delays emanating from those circumstances once they arise".

Generally, there are two categories of "extraordinary circumstances":

  1. discrete events or
  2. particularly complex cases.

Analysis should always begin looking at discrete events before looking at complexity.[3]

What type of circumstances are to be considered "extraordinary circumstances" is an open list and will depend on the "good sense and experience" of the trial judge.[4]

It is not necessary that the "extraordinary circumstances" be "rare or entirely uncommon".[5]

Seriousness Not a Factor

The seriousness or gravity of the offence does not pay in the consideration for delay.[6]

Appellate Review

When considering findings with respect to the presence of extraordinary circumstances, the appellate court should show deference.[7]

  1. R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII), per Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Brown JJ, at para 69 ("Exceptional circumstances lie outside the Crown’s control in the sense that (1) they are reasonably unforeseen or reasonably unavoidable, and (2) Crown counsel cannot reasonably remedy the delays emanating from those circumstances once they arise. So long as they meet this definition, they will be considered exceptional. They need not meet a further hurdle of being rare or entirely uncommon.")
  2. Jordan, ibid., at para 69 ("Exceptional circumstances lie outside the Crown’s control in the sense that (1) they are reasonably unforeseen or reasonably unavoidable, and (2) Crown counsel cannot reasonably remedy the delays emanating from those circumstances once they arise. So long as they meet this definition, they will be considered exceptional. They need not meet a further hurdle of being rare or entirely uncommon.")
  3. R v Cody, 2017 SCC 31 (CanLII), per curiam, at para 48 ("The exceptional circumstances analysis begins with discrete events. Like defence delay, discrete events result in quantitative deductions of particular periods of time. The delay caused by discrete exceptional events or circumstances that are reasonably unforeseeable or unavoidable is deducted to the extent it could not be reasonably mitigated by the Crown and the justice system ...")
  4. Jordan, ibid., at para 71 ("It is obviously impossible to identify in advance all circumstances that may qualify as “exceptional” for the purposes of adjudicating a s. 11(b) application. Ultimately, the determination of whether circumstances are “exceptional” will depend on the trial judge’s good sense and experience. The list is not closed. However, in general, exceptional circumstances fall under two categories: discrete events and particularly complex cases.")
  5. Jordan, ibid., at para 69
  6. Jordan, supra, at para 81
  7. R v Rice, 2018 QCCA 198 (CanLII), per Vauclair JA, at para 33
    Jordan, supra, at paras 65, and 78 to 79
    Cody, supra, at para 31

Discrete Events

Discrete events are the first of two categories of extraordinary circumstances that are permissible forms of delay and so are not calculated against the Jordan ceiling.

They are the events that "disturb the normal course of the matter and which no one [being Crown and Court] ... could do anything to prevent".[1]

The discrete events category require that the developments be "unforeseeable and unavoidable".[2] They must be events that "could not be reasonably mitigated by the Crown and the justice system."[3]

Duty to "mitigate" by "reasonable steps"

Any portion of the delay that "could reasonably have [been] mitigated" will be subtracted from the period of time considered "extraordinary".[4]

Once the discrete event occurs the Crown then has an obligation to try to resolve the issue without causing any more delay.

For any instance of a discrete event, the Crown and justice system "must always be prepared to mitigate the delay".[5] In any claim of a "discrete event, the Crown has the burden to show that "it took reasonable available steps to avoid and address the problem before the delay exceeded the ceiling."[6]

The Crown and justice system must prioritize cases that are delayed due to discrete events.[7]

Reasonable step do not have to be successful, they only need to be responsive to avoid delay.[8]

Calculating "Cascading Delay"

Where delays attributable to uncontrollable discrete events such as an illness that results in "cascading delay" has been treated as being subtracted from the total delay.[9]

  1. R v Rice, 2018 QCCA 198 (CanLII), per Vauclair JA, at para 84 ("Discrete events (l’événement distinct et exceptionnel), the expression used by the Supreme Court, are those that disturb the normal course of the matter and which no one, understood here as the prosecution and the justice system, could do anything to prevent")
  2. R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII), per Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Brown JJ, at para 73
  3. R v Cody, [2017] 1 SCR 659, 2017 SCC 31 (CanLII), per curiam, at para 48
  4. Jordan, ibid., at para 75
  5. Jordan, ibid., at para 75 ("The period of delay caused by any discrete exceptional events must be subtracted from the total period of delay for the purpose of determining whether the ceiling has been exceeded. Of course, the Crown must always be prepared to mitigate the delay resulting from a discrete exceptional circumstance. So too must the justice system. Within reason, the Crown and the justice system should be capable of prioritizing cases that have faltered due to unforeseen events ... . Thus, any portion of the delay that the Crown and the system could reasonably have mitigated may not be subtracted (i.e. it may not be appropriate to subtract the entire period of delay occasioned by discrete exceptional events).")
    R v Zikhali, 2019 ONCJ 24 (CanLII), per Burstein J, at para 17
  6. Jordan, ibid., at para 70
  7. Jordan, ibid., at para 75
    Rice, supra, at para 85
  8. Jordan, ibid., at para 70
  9. R v Norton, 2019 BCSC 1078 (CanLII), at para 36 ("The general proposition I extract from the foregoing authorities is that the entire cascading delay due to an adjournment caused by the illness of counsel ought to be subtracted from the total delay in the absence of a finding that the Crown or the system could reasonably have mitigated a portion of the delay occasioned by the discrete exceptional event.")
    R v Baron, 2017 ONCA 772 (CanLII), per Trotter JA, at para 50 ("As a discrete event, I would also deduct from the total delay the entire period of time between the second and third preliminary inquiry dates... . This was triggered by Houle’s illness, a matter completely beyond the Crown’s control, which caused the time protected for the second preliminary inquiry to be lost. As discussed below, under my discussion of the transitional exceptional circumstance, I agree with the application judge that it was reasonable for the Crown to continue against all three accused; the Crown was not required to sever the appellant as a form of mitigation for this unforeseen event.")
    R v Nazarek, 2017 BCSC 2340 (CanLII), per Watchuk J, at para 135 ("The unfortunate series of illnesses in this case are discrete events which are exceptional circumstances. They were unforeseeable, and the events as well as their cascading delay must be subtracted from the net delay. With counsel ill or in the hospital, there was nothing more that the Crown could do to move the case along.")
    R v Giles, 2017 BCSC 73 (CanLII), per Ross J, at paras 186 to 187

Where "Reasonable Steps" Mitigation is Required

Recanting Witnesses

A witness who recants unexpectedly during trial will be a discrete event.[1] However, it has been found that where the recantation was known to the Crown well in advance of trial it can be rejected as not being discrete event.[2]

Similarly, a witness refuses to testify, that too will generally be considered a discrete event.[3]

Trial Going Overtime

Where Crown and defence significantly underestimate the time required for trial, as long as they were making good-faith efforts to account for the required time, the resultant delay would be a "extraordinary circumstances".[4]

Swapping Out Crown Counsel

Where the Crown bears the burden to establish reasonable steps to mitigate delay, there is a need in certain circumstances for the Crown present evidence explaining the reasons why changing to different Crown counsel may not have been a practical response to a discrete event.[5]

Other Examples of "reasonable steps"

An example of reasonable steps include:

  • seeking the assistance of the court;[6]
  • seeking assistance of defence counsel to streamline evidence or issues for trial;[7]
  • seeking severance where a co-accused is causing delay[8]
  • coordinate the pre-trial applications.[9]
Consequence of Discrete Events

Anytime that a discrete event has been found that delay caused by the time must be deducted from the total calculation.[10]

  1. R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII), per Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Brown JJ, at para 73
  2. R v Smythe, 2017 SKQB 86 (CanLII), per McMurtry J, at paras 30 to 35
  3. R v Tsega, 2017 ONSC 3090 (CanLII), per Aitken J
  4. R v Testroete, 2017 NSPC 50 (CanLII), per Tax J, at para 150
    cf. R v Foroughi-Mobarakeh, 2017 NSSC 100 (CanLII), per Murray J, at paras 57 to 64
  5. e.g. Zikhali, supra, at para 38 ("In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, I am satisfied that another Crown could have, and should have, been made available to take over the prosecution of Mr. Zikhali’s case on July 24, 2018. If that had been done, at least 3 months of the 5-month rescheduling delay could have been avoided.")
  6. Jordan, ibid., at para 70
  7. Jordan, ibid., at para 70
  8. R v Singh, 2016 BCCA 427 (CanLII), per Goepel J
  9. Jordan, supra, at para 70
  10. R v Cody, [2017] 1 SCR 659, 2017 SCC 31 (CanLII), per curiam, at para 48

When "Discrete Events" Are Not Mitigatable

Certain circumstances have been found to constitute discrete events, including:

  • malfunction of court recording system.[1]
  • a witness refusing to testify[2]

There are circumstances that have been rejected as being discrete events:

  • drafting errors in joint statement of fact[3]
Medical

Personal or medical emergencies for the accused, counsel, judge, or jury member will usually be unavoidable discrete events.[4]

Illnesses[5] or an important medical conditions or procedures on any justice system participant will also be a discrete event.[6] As would a police officer witness on medical leave.[7]

The condition can include non-participants such as emergencies of the family of the participant.[8]

The Court can take into account the particular circumstances and resources of the jurisdiction in order to determine if a reasonable alternative was available.[9]

Late Notice of Defence Charter Application or Re-Election

Where the accused re-elects to a different court on short notice, the Crown will often not be able to mitigate the delay so it will generally be attributed as an unavoidable discrete event delay.[10] Where notice of re-election is early enough to permit mitigation, the Crown must do it or else the delay will not be counted as discrete.[11]

A defence application that happens after the budgeting of trial time has been done will typically not be mitigatable and so will be a discrete event delay.[12]

Effecting Service on Witnesses

The failure to serve a witness in a timely manner will not usually be a discrete event, even where the difficulty may create complexity to the case.[13] Difficulties in locating witnesses is a "common occurrence" in criminal courts.[14] The Crown should have to show what efforts were made to keep track of, and manage the witness, before the court should venture to call the failure to serve the witness a possible discrete event.[15] Where the witness is known to be reluctant, the Crown is expected to take that into account in the course of their management of the witness.[16]

One of the reasons loss of contact with a witness should not be a discrete event is because Crown should be expected to have "periodic communication" with witnesses where the case will take years to complete.[17]

Late Emergence of New Witnesses

Where there is the discovery of a late-emerging cooperative witness, this can be considered an unavoidable discrete event.[18]

Difficulty Securing an Interpreter

The failure to arrange for an interpreter to attend for trial will not normally be a discrete event.[19]

Under the pre-Jordan framework, the Crown had the responsibility to secure an interpreter for any given Cornw witness.[20]

Judges will consider the circumstances of the particular jurisdiction, including the prevalence of the language in the community and the likelihood that there are qualified interpreters that are readily locatable.[21]

Mistrial

Generally, a mistrial will not be foreseeable and so can be a discrete event.[22] However, there is suggestion that certain mistrials may be foreseeable and therefore not a discrete event.[23]

  1. R v Waboose, 2017 ONSC 3862 (CanLII), per Warkentin J
  2. R v Tsega, 2017 ONSC 3090 (CanLII), per Aitken J
  3. R v Cody, [2017] 1 SCR 659, 2017 SCC 31 (CanLII), per curiam, at paras 58 to 60
  4. R v Robert, 2018 ONSC 545 (CanLII), per Thomas J
    R v Giles, 2017 BCSC 73 (CanLII), per Ross J (illness)
    R v Windibank, 2017 ONSC 855 (CanLII), per Howard J (illness)
    R v Nazarek, 2017 BCSC 2340 (CanLII), per Watchuk J (illness)
    R v Chandroo, 2017 QCCQ 8155 (CanLII), per Marchi J (illness)
    R v Herman, 2017 BCSC 215 (CanLII), per Davies J (Crown counsel injury)
    R v Lee, 2017 ONSC 4862 (CanLII), per Forestell J
    R v Sachro, 2017 ONCJ 570 (CanLII), per Felix J
    R v Cook, 2017 QCCQ 9785 (CanLII), per Beauchemin J
    R v A(SS), 2017 BCPC 76 (CanLII), per Meyers J (Crown counsel ill)
    R v Hertyk, 2017 ONCJ 641 (CanLII), per Band J
    R v Akumu, 2017 BCSC 896 (CanLII), per Fisher J
    R v Charles, 2017 QCCQ 1321 (CanLII), per Marchi J (defence counsel had car problems and did not make it to court on time)
    R v Coulter, 2016 ONCA 704 (CanLII), per Gillese JA, at paras 81 to 84 (Crown counsel was in a car accident)
  5. Giles, supra, at paras 185 to 187
    Windibank, supra, at paras 50 to 52
    Nararek, supra, at para 135 ("The unfortunate series of illnesses in this case are discrete events which are exceptional circumstances. They were unforeseeable, and the events as well as their cascading delay must be subtracted from the net delay. With counsel ill or in the hospital, there was nothing more that the Crown could do to move the case along.")
    Chadroo, supra, at paras 38 to 39
    A(SS), supra, at para 21
  6. R v Sachro, 2016 ONCJ 570 (CanLII), per Kwolek J, at para 24 (Caesarean operation)
    R v Curry, 2016 BCSC 1435 (CanLII)
    R v Cook', 2017 QCCQ 9785 (CanLII), per Beauchemin J (complainant medical issue)
    R v L(R), 2016 ONSC 8008 (CanLII), per Glithero J, at paras 38 to 42 (complainant's pregnancy, unexpected by the Crown)
  7. R v Gopie, 2017 ONCA 728 (CanLII), at paras 163 to 164, per Gillese JA R v Hertyk, 2017 ONCJ 641 (CanLII), per Band J, at para 25 (shoulder injury of police officer)
  8. R v Robert, 2018 ONSC 545 (CanLII), per Thomas J, at para 97 ("In this matter, counsel agree that disclosure to the co-accused, Tomlin, was delayed about a working week as Mr. Boonstra needed to be absent from work to attend to a family matter that clearly required his attention. I agree that this is a perfect example of a discrete event contemplated by Jordan. Although the matter was only adjourned three days from October 3 to October 6, 2016, by which time Mr. Boonstra had returned, I would allow a deduction of five days to take into account the Crown’s inability to prepare the disclosure.")
    R v Akumu, 2017 BCSC 896 (CanLII), per Fisher J, at paras 108 to 109 (juror's family medical emergency)
  9. e.g. R v Brown, 2017 NSPC 27 (CanLII), per Scovil J, at para 30
  10. R v Truong, 2017 BCSC 736 (CanLII), per Kent J, at paras 60 to 62
  11. R v Eremenko, 2018 BCSC 1138 (CanLII), at para 105
  12. e.g. Truong, ibid., at para 68
    R v Cristoferi-Paolucci, 2016 ONSC 6923 (CanLII), per Goldstein J, at paras 19 to 24 (failure to give notice under mistaken belief of Crown consent to application)
  13. R v Millar, 2016 BCSC 1887 (CanLII), at para 164 appealed on different grounds at 2019 BCCA 298 (CanLII)
    R v Bishop, 2016 ONSC 7734 (CanLII), per Phillips J, at para 16
    R v Smythe, 2017 SKQB 86 (CanLII), at paras 36 to 38
  14. Smythe, ibid., at para 37
  15. Smythe, ibid., at para 37
  16. Smythe, ibid., at para 38
  17. Bishop, supra, at para 16
  18. R v Jurkus, 2018 ONCA 489 (CanLII), per Fairburn JA leave refused [2018] SCCA 325
  19. R v Paauw, 2016 ONSC 7394 (CanLII), per Laliberte J
    R v Sinatra, [<http://canlii.ca/t/gnf30 2016 ONCJ 101] (CanLII), per Bourque J
    R v Nguyen, 2016 ONCJ 712 (CanLII), per Campbell J (unavailability of vietnamese interpreter was found foreseeable)
    R v Khou, 2016 ONCJ 865 (CanLII)
  20. R v Askov, [1990] 2 SCR 1199, 1990 CanLII 45 (SCC), per Cory J
  21. Paauw, supra, at paras 48 to 51
  22. e.g. R v Mallozzi, 2017 ONCA 644 (CanLII), per Benotto JA, at paras 41 to 42
    R v Wu, 2017 BCSC 2373 (CanLII), at paras 83, 90 to 91
    R v Chrishurajah, 2017 BCSC 820 (CanLII), per Wedge J, at paras 98 to 100
    R v Becket, 2017 BCSC 1116 (CanLII), per Beames J
  23. e.g. R v T(JH), 2016 BCSC 2382 (CanLII), per Tindale J, at paras 156 to 173 (crown witness "blurted out" inadmissible bad character evidence)

"Particularly Complex" Cases

Consideration of a case's complexity is a "qualitative" assessment of the case "as a whole".[1]

A complex case is one where "the nature of the evidence" and "the nature of the issues" requires "an inordinate amount of trial or preparation time".[2]

This assessment is considered in context of whether the complexity is "sufficient to justify its length" and whether the "net delay is reasonable in view of the case's overall complexity".[3]

A complex case is one that "requires an inordinate amount of time" or inordinate amount of preparation due to the evidence or issues involved.[4]

Ceiling Assumes Moderate Complexity

The setting of the presumptive ceilings already reflects "increased complexity of criminal cases since Morin"[5] in many aspects including new offences, procedures, obligations and law.[6] It is said that the ceilling reflects an already growing complexity of cases as the "long time to wait for justice".[7]

The use of delay for complexity should be rare as the ceiling assumes that a "vast majority of cases" can be completed within the ceiling period.[8]

Factors Relating to Complexity

There are certain "hallmarks of particular complexity" to consider including:[9]

  • Voluminous disclosure
  • Number of Witnesses
  • Proceedings Against Multiple Co-Accused and
  • nature of the evidence, including:
    • cross-border or international evidence/witnesses[10]
    • multiple languages and the use of interpreters[11]
    • numerous or complex expert witnesses
  • Nature of the Issues, including
    • number of charges
    • number of pre-trial applications
    • novel or complex litigation issues[12]
    • rarely applied laws;
    • multi-party conspiracy allegations[13]

Assessment of what constitutes a complexity for counsel is well within the expertise of the trial judge.[14]

The judge may also rely on the assertions of counsel as to the level of complexity.[15] Similarly, the Crown may rely upon representations of the defence as to how complex they believe their case to be.[16]

Reasonable Steps

Where the case is particularly complex the Crown is expected to take reasonable steps to mitigate the anticipated delay arising from the complexity.[17] This primarily involves developing and following "a concrete plan to minimize the delay occasioned by such complexity".[18] Failure to make and stick to a plan will mean that the exception cannot be relied upon.[19]

The judge must consider the steps taken and not taken by the Crown.[20] Any exercise of discretion must "conform" to the accused s. 11(b) rights.[21]

Causal Connection

It is necessary that when considering a particularly complex case that the amount of time deducted from the delay flow from the identified complex feature.[22]

  1. R v Cody, 2017 SCC 31 (CanLII), per curiam, at para 64
  2. Cody, ibid., at para 64
    R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII), per Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Brown JJ, at para 77
    R v Manasseri, 2016 ONCA 703 (CanLII), per Watt JA, at para 311 ("The second category of exceptional circumstances consists of cases that are particularly complex. This degree of complexity may arise from the nature of the evidence or the nature of the issues.")
    R v Rice, 2018 QCCA 198 (CanLII), per Vauclair JA, at paras 87 to 88
  3. Cody, supra, at para 64
  4. R v Potter; Colpits, 2020 NSCA 9 (CanLII), per curiam, at paras 369 to 377
    Cody, supra, at para 46
  5. R v Morin, [1992] 1 SCR 771, 1992 CanLII 89 (SCC), per Sopinka J
  6. Cody, supra, at para 63
    Jordan, supra, at paras 42 and 53
  7. Jordan, supra, at para 57
  8. Rice, supra, at para 43
    Jordan, supra, at para 56 ("The public should expect that most can and should be resolved before reaching the ceilling")
  9. Jordan, supra, at para 77
    R v Jansen and Hall, 2017 ONSC 2954 (CanLII), per Sosna J, at paras 59 to 66
  10. R v Singh, 2016 BCCA 427 (CanLII), per Goepel JA, at para 87
  11. Singh, ibid., at para 87
  12. e.g. R v Mahaffy, 2018 ONSC 349 (CanLII), per Cornell J, at para 31
  13. Singh, ibid., at para 87
  14. Jordan, supra, at para 79
  15. e.g. R v Barron (Houle), 2017 ONCA 772 (CanLII), per Trotter JA, at para 67
    R v Truong, 2017 BCSC 736 (CanLII) (CanLII), per Kent J, at para 72
    R v Muhammed, 2018 ONSC 4463 (CanLII) (CanLII), per Trimble J, at paras 58 to 61
  16. R v Pavao, 2017 ONSC 6873, per Dow J
  17. Rice, supra, at para 96
    Jordan, supra, at para 70
  18. Jordan, supra, at para 79
    R v Saikaley, 2017 ONCA 374 (CanLII), per curiam, at para 79 ("The Crown, having initiated what could reasonably be expected to be a complex prosecution, has a positive duty to develop and follow a concrete plan to minimize the delay occasioned by such complexity.")
    R v Picard, 2017 ONCA 692 (CanLII), per Rouleau JA
  19. Saikaley, supra, at para 79("Where the Crown has failed to do so, it will not be able to show exceptional circumstances, because it will not be able to show that the circumstances were outside its control")
  20. Jordan, supra, at para 70
    Rice, supra, at para 96
  21. Jordan, supra, at para 79
    Saikaley, supra, at para 36
  22. e.g. R v McBride, 2017 BCSC 1480 (CanLII), per Betton J

Voluminous disclosure

"Voluminous disclosure" is a "hallmark of particularly complex cases" however it is "not automatically demonstrative of complexity".[1]

Evidence can include an inventory list of documents and number of pages of disclosure.[2]

  1. R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII), per Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Brown JJ, at para 77
    R v Cody, 2017 SCC 31 (CanLII), per curiam, at para 65
  2. e.g. R v Jansen and Hall, 2017 ONSC 2954 (CanLII), per Sosna J, at paras 61 to 65

Multiple Co-Accused

See also: Joinder and Severance of Charges

Proceeding against several co-accused together may "enhance or contribute" to the complexity of a case.[1] However, multiple co-accused per se does not render the case particularly complex.[2]

The delay caused by multiple co-accused is an accepted "fact of life" and must be accounted for in what constitutes a reasonable time for trial.[3]

There will always be scheduling conflicts between the co-accused that result in greater delay of all parties.[4]

Crown cannot ignore situations where one accused is being "held hostage" by the delays caused by the other accused in the course of joint proceedings.[5]

However, severance cannot be seen as a panacea when delay arises from a multi-party indictment.[6]

  1. R v Manasseri, 2016 ONCA 703 (CanLII), per Watt JA ("Proceeding jointly against several co-accused, provided it is in the interests of justice to do so, may also enhance or contribute to the complexity of the case")
    R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII), per Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Brown JJ, at para 77
  2. R v DA, 2018 ONCA 96 (CanLII)
    R v Albadry, 2018 ONCJ 114 (CanLII), per Doody J, at paras 27 to 28
    R v Kranc, 2018 BCPC 26 (CanLII), per Janzen J, at para 64
    R v Thomson, 2017 BCSC 2151 (CanLII), per Church J, at paras 55 to 57
    R v S(C), 2017 ONCJ 828 (CanLII), per McArthur J, at para 28 ("Although this case is one generally regarded as taking longer in the Provincial Court in this jurisdiction, it is not a particularly complex case in the sense under R. v. Jordan. It neither has the hallmarks of a particularly complex case as referred to in paragraph 77 of R. v. Jordan. Disclosure was not voluminous, there are not a large number of witnesses, there is no expert evidence, no charges over a long period of time, no complicated issues beyond the factual determinations to be made from the evidence. The fact that the defendants were jointly charged does not in any way take this case into complexity.")
  3. R v Vassell, 2016 SCC 26 (CanLII), per Moldaver J, at para 6 ("In many cases, delay caused by proceeding against multiple co-accused must be accepted as a fact of life and must be considered in deciding what constitutes a reasonable time for trial. But here, it was clear from the outset that the delay caused by the various co-accused not only prevented the Crown’s case from moving forward, it also prevented Mr. Vassell from proceeding expeditiously, as he wanted. Importantly, this is not a case where Mr. Vassell simply did not cause any of the delay; rather, it is one in which he took proactive steps throughout, from start to finish, to have his case tried as soon as possible. In this regard, his counsel reviewed disclosure promptly, pushed for a pre-trial conference or case management, worked with the Crown to streamline the issues at trial, agreed to admit an expert report, made the Crown and the Court aware of s. 11(b) problems, and at all times sought early dates.")
  4. R v Dhaliwal, 2017 BCSC 2215 (CanLII), per Ross J, at para 26
  5. Vassell, ibid., at para 7
  6. R v Singh, 2016 BCCA 427 (CanLII), per Goepel JA, at para 81 ("Severance is not a panacea when delay issues arise in a multi-party indictment. The Jordan framework does not require severing proceedings in all cases. While there may well be cases where severance would be appropriate to avoid some delay, the interests of justice may dictate otherwise.")

Special Jurisdictions

There is a suggestion that special rules should apply to the territory of Nunavut given the sparse population over a broad geographic area.[1]

See Also