Her Majesty the Queen v. Mélanie Ste-Marie, et al.

(Quebec) (Criminal) (By Leave)


Canadian charter (Criminal) - Criminal law, Right to be tried within a reasonable time (s. 11(b)), Remedy - Charter of Rights Criminal law Right to be tried within a reasonable time Remedy Whether Quebec Court of Appeal erred in law in granting final stay of proceedings without addressing point of law validly raised by Crown, respondent in Court of Appeal, namely proper attribution of delay relating to extraordinary recourses exercised by defence Whether Quebec Court of Appeal erred in law in reviewing only part of legal framework of decision on motion for stay of proceedings under s. 11(b) of Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, though framework ill defined by trial judge.


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The respondents, Mélanie Ste Marie, Michel Ste Marie, Dax Ste Marie and Richard Felx, were charged with conspiracy to launder proceeds of crime, laundering proceeds of crime, and commission of an offence for a criminal organization. In the Court of Québec, the respondents moved for a stay of proceedings for unreasonable delay. The Court of Québec found that s. 11(b) of the Charter had been infringed but declined to stay the proceedings. It convicted the respondents of the offences charged. On appeal from the guilty verdicts, the Quebec Court of Appeal had to determine whether the Court of Québec had erred in declining to stay the proceedings after finding unreasonable delay. The Court of Appeal allowed the respondents’ appeals, quashed the convictions and ordered a stay of proceedings.