Difference between revisions of "Extraordinary Circumstances in Jordan Delay Analysis"

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==Discrete Events==
 
==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".<ref>
 +
''R v Rice'', 2018 QCCA 198 (CanLII){{fix}}{{at|84}}
 +
</ref>
 +
 
The discrete events category require that the developments be "unforeseeable and unavoidable".<ref>
 
The discrete events category require that the developments be "unforeseeable and unavoidable".<ref>
 
''R v Jordan'', [http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3 2016 SCC 27] (CanLII){{perSCC|Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Brown JJ}}{{atL|73|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}<br>
 
''R v Jordan'', [http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3 2016 SCC 27] (CanLII){{perSCC|Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Brown JJ}}{{atL|73|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}<br>
Line 40: Line 46:
 
They must be events that "could not be reasonably mitigated by the Crown and the justice system."<ref>
 
They must be events that "could not be reasonably mitigated by the Crown and the justice system."<ref>
 
''R v Cody'', [2017] 1 SCR 659, [http://canlii.ca/t/h4bfk 2017 SCC 31] (CanLII){{atL|48|http://canlii.ca/t/h4bfk}}
 
''R v Cody'', [2017] 1 SCR 659, [http://canlii.ca/t/h4bfk 2017 SCC 31] (CanLII){{atL|48|http://canlii.ca/t/h4bfk}}
 +
</ref>
 +
 +
; 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".<ref>
 +
{{ibid1|Jordan}}{{atL|75|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}
 
</ref>
 
</ref>
  
 
Once the discrete event occurs the Crown then has an obligation to try to resolve the issue without causing any more delay.
 
Once the discrete event occurs the Crown then has an obligation to try to resolve the issue without causing any more delay.
  
The Crown must show that "it took reasonable available steps to avoid and address the problem before the delay exceeded the ceiling."<ref>
+
For any instance of a discrete event, the Crown and justice system "must always be prepared to mitigate the delay".<ref>
 +
{{ibid1|Jordan}}{{atL|75|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}<br>
 +
''R v Zikhali, 2019 ONCJ 24 (CanLII){{perONCJ|Burstein J}}{{at|17}}
 +
</ref>
 +
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."<ref>
 
{{ibid1|Jordan}}{{atL|70|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}<br>
 
{{ibid1|Jordan}}{{atL|70|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}<br>
 +
</ref>
 +
 +
The Crown and justice system must prioritize cases that are delayed due to discrete events.<ref>
 +
{{ibid1|Jordan}}{{atL|75|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}<br>
 +
{{supra1|Rice}}{{at|85}}<br>
 
</ref>
 
</ref>
  
Line 52: Line 72:
 
</ref>
 
</ref>
  
 +
; 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".<ref>
 +
''R v Testroete'', [http://canlii.ca/t/h6bxl 2017 NSPC 50] (CanLII){{perNSPC|Tax J}}{{atL|150|http://canlii.ca/t/h6bxl}}<br>
 +
cf. ''R v Foroughi-Mobarakeh'', [http://canlii.ca/t/h389w 2017 NSSC 100] (CanLII){{perNSSC|Murray J}}{{atsL|57 to 64|http://canlii.ca/t/h389w#par57}}
 +
</ref>
 +
 +
; Swapping Out Crown Counsel
 +
Where the Crown bears the burden to establish reasonable steps to mitigate delay, there is 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.<ref>
 +
e.g. {{supra1|Zikhali}}{{at|38}}
 +
</ref>
 +
 +
; Recanting Witnesses
 +
A witness who recants unexpectedly during trial will be a discrete event.<ref>
 +
{{supra1|Jordan}}
 +
</ref>
 +
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.<ref>
 +
''R v Smythe'', 2017 SKQB 86 (CanLII)<br>
 +
</ref>
 +
 +
; Other Examples of "reasonable steps"
 
An example of reasonable steps include:
 
An example of reasonable steps include:
 
* seeking the assistance of the court;<ref>
 
* seeking the assistance of the court;<ref>
Line 62: Line 102:
 
{{supra1|Jordan}}{{atL|70|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}<br></ref>
 
{{supra1|Jordan}}{{atL|70|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}<br></ref>
  
An example of valid discrete events would be a recanting complainant.<ref>
+
; Examples of "discrete events"
{{ibid1|Jordan}}{{atL|73|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}<br>
+
Certain circumstances have been found to constitute discrete events, including:
 +
* medical or personal emergencies for the accused, counsel, judge, or jury member.<ref>
 +
''R v Robert'', [http://canlii.ca/t/hqd8p 2018 ONSC 545] (CanLII){{perONSC|Thomas J}}<br>
 +
''R v Charles'', 2017 QCCQ 1321<Br>
 +
''R v Giles'', 2017 BCSC 73 (CanLII)<br>
 +
''R v Windibank'', 2017 ONSC 855<br>
 +
''R v Nazarek'', 2017 BCSC 2340<br>
 +
''R v Chandroo'', 2017 QCCQ 8155<Br>
 +
''R v Herman'', [http://canlii.ca/t/gxhkd 2017 BCSC 215] (CanLII){{per BCSC|Davies J}}<Br>
 +
''R v Lee'', 2017 ONSC 4862<br>
 +
''R v Sachro, 2017 ONCJ 570<br>
 +
''R v Cook'', 2017 QCCQ 9785<br>
 +
''R v Hertyk'', 2017 ONCJ 641<br>
 +
''R v Akumu'', 2017 BCSC 896<br>
 +
''R v Coulter'', 2016 ONCA 704<br>
 +
</ref>
 +
* An important medical condition or procedure on a witness, including pregnancy.<ref>
 +
''R v L(R)'', 2016 ONSC 8008 (CanLII)<br>
 +
''R v Curry'', 2016 BCSC 1435<br>
 +
</ref>
 +
* a police officer witness on medical leave.<REf>
 +
''R v Gopie'', 2017 ONCA 728 (CanLII)
 +
</ref>
 +
* malfunction of court recording system.<ref>
 +
''R v Waboose'', 2017 ONSC 3862 (CanLII)
 +
</ref>
 +
* a witness refusing to testify<ref>
 +
''R v Tsega'', 2017 ONSC 3090 (CanLII)<br>
 
</ref>
 
</ref>
  
; Court and Crown Duty to Mitigate
+
There are circumstances that have been rejected as being discrete events:
Any portion of the delay that "could reasonably have [been] mitigated" will be subtracted from the period of time considered "extraordinary".<ref>
+
* Failure to arrange for an interpreter to attend for trial.<ref>
{{ibid1|Jordan}}{{atL|75|http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3}}
+
''R v Paauw'', 2017 ONSC 7394 (CanLII)<br>
 +
''R v Sinatra'', 2017 ONCJ 101 (CanLII)<br>
 +
''R v Nguyen'', 2016 ONCJ 712 (CanLII)<br>
 +
''R v Khou'', 2-16 ONCJ 865 (CanLII)<br>
 +
</reF>
 +
* failure to serve a witness in a timely manner;<ref>
 +
''R v Millar'', 2017 BCSC 1887 (CanLII)<br>
 +
''R v Bishop'', 2017 ONSC 7734 (CanLII)<br>
 +
''R v Smythe'', 2017 SKQB 86 (CanLII)<br>
 +
</ref>
 +
* drafting errors in joint statement of fact<ref>
 +
{{supra1|Cody}}
 
</ref>
 
</ref>
  
; Trial Going Overtime
+
; Consequence of Discrete Events
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".<ref>
+
Anytime that a discrete event has been found that delay caused by the time must be deducted from the total calculation.<ref>
''R v Testroete'', [http://canlii.ca/t/h6bxl 2017 NSPC 50] (CanLII){{perNSPC|Tax J}}{{atL|150|http://canlii.ca/t/h6bxl}}<br>
+
{{supra1|Cody}}{{atL|48|http://canlii.ca/t/h4bfk}}
cf. ''R v Foroughi-Mobarakeh'', [http://canlii.ca/t/h389w 2017 NSSC 100] (CanLII){{perNSSC|Murray J}}{{atsL|57 to 64|http://canlii.ca/t/h389w#par57}}
 
 
</ref>
 
</ref>
 +
 +
 
{{reflist|2}}
 
{{reflist|2}}
  

Revision as of 18:15, 14 August 2019

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]

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]

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".[9]

Swapping Out Crown Counsel

Where the Crown bears the burden to establish reasonable steps to mitigate delay, there is 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.[10]

Recanting Witnesses

A witness who recants unexpectedly during trial will be a discrete event.[11] 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.[12]

Other Examples of "reasonable steps"

An example of reasonable steps include:

  • seeking the assistance of the court;[13]
  • seeking assistance of defence counsel to streamline evidence or issues for trial;[14]
  • seeking severance where a co-accused is causing delay[15]
  • coordinate the pre-trial applications.[16]
Examples of "discrete events"

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

  • medical or personal emergencies for the accused, counsel, judge, or jury member.[17]
  • An important medical condition or procedure on a witness, including pregnancy.[18]
  • a police officer witness on medical leave.[19]
  • malfunction of court recording system.[20]
  • a witness refusing to testify[21]

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

  • Failure to arrange for an interpreter to attend for trial.[22]
  • failure to serve a witness in a timely manner;[23]
  • drafting errors in joint statement of fact[24]
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.[25]


  1. R v Rice, 2018 QCCA 198 (CanLII)(complete citation pending), at para 84
  2. R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII), per Moldaver, Karakatsanis and Brown JJ, at para http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3
  3. R v Cody, [2017] 1 SCR 659, 2017 SCC 31 (CanLII), at para http://canlii.ca/t/h4bfk
  4. Jordan, ibid., at para http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3
  5. Jordan, ibid., at para http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3
    R v Zikhali, 2019 ONCJ 24 (CanLII), per Burstein J, at para 17
  6. Jordan, ibid., at para http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3
  7. Jordan, ibid., at para http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3
    Rice, supra, at para 85
  8. Jordan, ibid., at para http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3
  9. R v Testroete, 2017 NSPC 50 (CanLII), per Tax J, at para http://canlii.ca/t/h6bxl
    cf. R v Foroughi-Mobarakeh, 2017 NSSC 100 (CanLII), per Murray J, at to 64#parhttp://canlii.ca/t/h389w#par57 paras http://canlii.ca/t/h389w#par57{{{3}}}
  10. e.g. Zikhali, supra, at para 38
  11. Jordan, supra
  12. R v Smythe, 2017 SKQB 86 (CanLII)
  13. Jordan, ibid., at para http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3
  14. Jordan, ibid., at para http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3
  15. R v Singh, 2016 BCCA 427 (CanLII)(complete citation pending)
  16. Jordan, supra, at para http://canlii.ca/t/gsds3
  17. R v Robert, 2018 ONSC 545 (CanLII), per Thomas J
    R v Charles, 2017 QCCQ 1321
    R v Giles, 2017 BCSC 73 (CanLII)
    R v Windibank, 2017 ONSC 855
    R v Nazarek, 2017 BCSC 2340
    R v Chandroo, 2017 QCCQ 8155
    R v Herman, 2017 BCSC 215 (CanLII)Template:Per BCSC
    R v Lee, 2017 ONSC 4862
    R v Sachro, 2017 ONCJ 570
    R v Cook, 2017 QCCQ 9785
    R v Hertyk, 2017 ONCJ 641
    R v Akumu, 2017 BCSC 896
    R v Coulter, 2016 ONCA 704
  18. R v L(R), 2016 ONSC 8008 (CanLII)
    R v Curry, 2016 BCSC 1435
  19. R v Gopie, 2017 ONCA 728 (CanLII)
  20. R v Waboose, 2017 ONSC 3862 (CanLII)
  21. R v Tsega, 2017 ONSC 3090 (CanLII)
  22. R v Paauw, 2017 ONSC 7394 (CanLII)
    R v Sinatra, 2017 ONCJ 101 (CanLII)
    R v Nguyen, 2016 ONCJ 712 (CanLII)
    R v Khou, 2-16 ONCJ 865 (CanLII)
  23. R v Millar, 2017 BCSC 1887 (CanLII)
    R v Bishop, 2017 ONSC 7734 (CanLII)
    R v Smythe, 2017 SKQB 86 (CanLII)
  24. Cody, supra
  25. Cody, supra, at para http://canlii.ca/t/h4bfk

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 evidence or the nature of the issues, require[s] 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 reasonabe in view of the case's overall complexity".[3]

The setting of the presumptive ceilings already reflects "increased complexity of criminal cases since Morin"[4] in many aspects including new offences, procedures, obligations and law.[5]

Factors to consider when evaluating the case's complexity include:[6]

  • Voluminous disclosure
  • Number of Witnesses
  • Proceedings Against Multiple Co-Accused and
  • Nature of the Issues, including
    • cross-border evidence[7]
    • multi-party conspiracy allegations[8]
    • multiple languages and the use of interpreters[9]

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]

Multiple Co-Accused

See also: Joinder and Severance of Charges

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.[1]

There will always be scheduling conflicts between the co-accused that result in greater delay of all parties.[2]

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.[3]

However, severance cannot be seen as a panacea when delay arises from a multi-party indictment.[4]