For the first time ever, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear cases outside the nation’s capital Wednesday and Thursday.
The Supreme Court will hear two cases in downtown Winnipeg at Manitoba’s law courts building, for the first time in 144 years.
The first case, R. v. K.G.K., will discuss the right to a trial in a reasonable time, and if the time a judge takes to decide a case should count when determining if a trial is taking too long.
The case involves an appeal by a defendant convicted of sexual interference involving his stepdaughter. Due to a publication ban, the man is only being identified by his initials to prevent identification of the victim.
The decision in the case took nine months, which prompted the defendant’s lawyer to issue an appeal, saying the length of the decision was an unreasonable delay. While most of the Manitoba Court of Appeal disagreed, one judge said they agreed.
Since the judge agreed, the case was automatically granted an appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada because it involved a legal issue on a criminal case.
The case will set a new precedent when it comes to the 2016 Supreme Court landmark ruling dubbed the Jordan decision.
The decision sets a limit of 18 months between the laying of charges and the actual or anticipated end of a trial in provincial court. In superior courts, the ceiling is 30 months.
“In this case, the decision is to decide whether the Jordan framework will apply to the delay taken by a judge to render its verdict after the trial has been finished,” said Chief Justice Richard Wagner.
“That’s never been decided before.”
In Manitoba, 95 delay motions on Criminal Code matters were given to the defense counsel as of Aug. 14, 2019. Eight of those remain outstanding, 32 have been dismissed by the court, 16 were stayed, 33 were resolved or withdrawn by counsel, six were successful and one is currently being appealed.
Thursday’s case of Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique v. British Columbia involves French speakers in B.C., language education rights and will decide what school services B.C. needs for their French-speaking communities.
Both hearings will begin at 9:30 a.m. and are open to the public at the Manitoba law courts at 408 York Ave.