Did the SCC set an unreachable bar for accused to argue delay during verdict deliberation time?
On March 20, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) rendered judgment in R. v. K.G.K. (K.G.K.), in which it addressed how to determine whether an accused person’s right to be tried within a reasonable time was infringed in the specific context of the verdict deliberation time. The period of verdict deliberation starts after the end of the evidence and arguments and extends until the release of the decision.
This decision comes in the aftermath of the landmark Jordan decision, in which the SCC created a new framework to determine whether an accused person has faced an unreasonable delay in being tried under s. 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This framework established numerical ceilings (18 months for provincial court trials and 30 months for superior court trials), beyond which a delay becomes presumptively unreasonable.
In a recent Osler Update, Fabrice Benoît and Frédéric Plamondon provided insight into the SCC’s decision, including a summary and commentary on the judgment. Read their Osler Update