Her Majesty The Queen v. J.F.

(Quebec) (Criminal) (By Leave)

(Publication ban in case)


Charter of Rights - Criminal law - Tried within reasonable time - Trial delay - Ceilings - Whether failure to raise, at first trial or on appeal, possible infringement of right to be tried within reasonable time amounts to waiver of right to raise it during subsequent trial - Whether Jordan framework should be used to consider trial delay for previous trial, delay that is completely over and can no longer be remedied - Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s. 11(b).


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In February 2011, the respondent, J.F., was charged with several offences involving sexual acts committed between 1986 and 2001. While judgment was reserved, the Supreme Court rendered its decision in R. v. Jordan, 2016 SCC 27, [2016] 1 S.C.R. 631. Following the first trial, J.F. was acquitted in February 2017. The total delay between the charges and the verdict was 72 months and 2 days. In June 2018, the Quebec Court of Appeal ordered a new trial because of errors of law in the trial judgment. The delay between that order and the anticipated end of the new trial was 10 months and 5 days. J.F. filed a motion for a stay of proceedings under s. 11(b) of the Charter in December 2018. The trial judge found that the delay for the first trial was unreasonable and that J.F. had never waived his right to be tried within a reasonable time. She granted the motion and ordered a stay of proceedings in February 2019. In a unanimous judgment, the Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge’s order, but for reasons that differed from those of the trial judge.

Lower Court Rulings

March 15, 2019
Court of Quebec

2019 QCCQ 1236, 500-01-051551-114
Motion for stay of proceedings granted
May 25, 2020
Court of Appeal of Quebec (Montréal)

2020 QCCA 666, 500-10-007018-193
Appeal dismissed