Syed Adeel Safdar v. Her Majesty the Queen
(Ontario) (Criminal) (As of Right)
Constitutional law - Canadian charter (Criminal), Right to be tried within a reasonable time (s. 11(b)) - Constitutional law — Charter of Rights — Right to be tried within a reasonable time — Whether the Court of Appeal erred in holding that the period of time required for applications brought pursuant to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms should be considered as part of verdict deliberation time and thus deducted from the calculation of net delay in an application brought under s. 11(b) of the Charter — Whether the Court of Appeal erred in failing to correct the trial judge’s characterization of delay in setting trial dates attributable to systemic limitations on court resources as defence waiver — Whether the Court of Appeal erred in failing to correct the trial judge’s characterization of delay attributed to the trial taking substantially longer than the trial estimate as a discrete exceptional circumstance — Whether the Court of Appeal erred in failing to correct the trial judge’s over allocation of delay for the discrete exceptional circumstance of illness of Crown counsel — Whether the Court of Appeal erred in concluding that below the ceiling delay of 29.25 months was not markedly longer than the trial should have taken.
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The appellant, Syed Adeel Safdar, and two co accused who have since discontinued their appeals, were tried for a number of offences involving the abuse of the appellant’s wife. At the end of the evidence and argument on the merits of the allegations, they brought an application under s. 11(b) of the Charter for a stay of proceedings based on unreasonable delay. While the trial judge was preparing his decision on the trial proper, he heard the s. 11(b) application, reserved his decision and then granted the stay. In the trial judge’s reasons on the s. 11(b) application, he also advised that he had completed his reserved decision on the trial proper, which he did not release, but placed under seal pending the outcome of any appeal of the stay order.
The Crown appealed the stay order, arguing that following the Supreme Court’s decision in R. v. K.G.K., 2020 SCC 7, the trial judge erred in including the period from the end of the evidence and argument until the release of the stay decision in his calculation of the overall delay. The Court of Appeal unanimously allowed the Crown’s appeal, set aside the stay order and referred the matter back to the trial judge to release his decision on the trial proper.
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