Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Quebec to hire new judges, prosecutors to address backlog in justice system

In a move likely to be repeated in Ontario and B.C. the Quebec government has announced plans to hire nearly two dozen new judges, 69 more Crown prosecutors and 114 support staff. Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée tabled a bill Wednesday as part of a plan aimed at easing the burden on the Province's overloaded justice system.

Between now and June 30, 2017, Quebec's Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions will spend $175.2-million to address the province's case backlog. The pledge for more cash and new hires comes following a Supreme Court judgment in July known as the Jordan decision. It states that the time between when an accused is charged and when their case reaches trial should be 18 months in a provincial court or 30 months in a Superior Court.
Last month, four alleged drug traffickers, including Richard 'Bob' Hudon, one of the founding members of the Quebec Hells Angels, obtained a stay of proceedings at the Quebec City courthouse. They had waited more than 60 months for a trial date on drug-related charges.

Quebec's director of criminal prosecutions said recently it had received 222 requests for a stay of proceedings due to unreasonable delays.
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