K.J.M. v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Alberta) (Criminal) (By Leave)
(Publication ban in case) (Certain information not available to the public)
Constitutional law - Criminal law - Constitutional law - Charter of Rights - Right to be tried within reasonable time - Young persons - Delay of 18 ½ months - Whether the majority of the Court of Appeal erred in law in its interpretation of s. 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as it applies to Youth Criminal Justice Act, S.C. 2002, c. 1, matters and in failing to find that there is a lower presumptive ceiling for young persons facing single-stage criminal proceedings in provincial court - Whether the majority of the Court of Appeal erred in law in its allocation of responsibility for delay under R. v. Jordan, 2016 SCC 27,  1 S.C.R. 631 - Whether the majority of the Court of Appeal erred in law in finding that the trial judge correctly applied the transitional exception. .
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(PUBLICATION BAN IN CASE) (COURT FILE CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION BY THE PUBLIC)
The appellant, a young person, was convicted of aggravated assault and possession of a dangerous weapon. He applied for, and was refused, a stay of proceedings on the basis that the 18 ½ months that had elapsed between the time he was charged and the time his trial concluded was unreasonable within the meaning of R. v. Jordan, 2016 SCC 27,  1 S.C.R. 631, and breached his s. 11(b) Charter right. The appellant appealed his conviction, arguing that the delay had not been properly assessed under Jordan. A majority of the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal. Veldhuis J.A., dissenting, would have allowed the appeal and entered a stay of proceedings on the basis that the trial judge erred in (1) her assessment of the presumptive ceiling applicable to young persons facing single-stage criminal proceedings in provincial court, and (2) in relying on the “clearest of cases” principle in her assessment of the transitional exception. In Velhuis J.A.’s view, a lower ceiling for young persons is consistent with Jordan, but also with the case law prior to it which recognized the additional prejudice faced by young persons experiencing long pre-trial delays. She also found that taking into account all the relevant factors, including the appellant’s age, it was likely that a court would have concluded the delay was unreasonable under the law as it stood prior to Jordan and that the transitional exception could not make the delay reasonable in this case.
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