Crown appealed a stay of charges of assault causing bodily harm, unlawful confinement, assault, mischief, and failure to comply with probation order arising in a domestic context. The stay was granted under s. 24(1) due to systemic problems within the bail system in Alberta, which resulted in the accused being held for longer than 24 hours before seeing a Justice of the Peace. Crown conceded the accused’s s 7, 9, and 11(e) Charter rights were breached.

Held: Appeal allowed; stay set aside.

The Court noted the challenge of finding a remedy that was “appropriate and just in the circumstances” at both the individual and systemic levels. The Court applied Babos [2014 SCC 16], which “contemplates selecting an individual remedy for a breach of Charter rights, not the type of systemic remedy in issue in this appeal.” At the individual level, alternative remedies can redress the prejudice to the accused, such as a sentence reduction, enhanced credit or a claim for damages.

M. Bates – Defence Counsel