R. v. L. A. and K. D.

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Counsel: Reid Rusonik

A preliminary inquiry date was set for these two co-accused without either one of them ever having to personally appear in court. 

We appeared for them purusant to 'Designations' both had signed that allowed us as their counsel to appear on their behalf for the myriad of procedural court appearances an accused is required to make before he hears a word of the evidence against him.

The use of this tool allowed by the Criminal Code of Canada for only a few years now is one of the key ways we try to minimize the embarrassment and inconvenience for the people we represent.  It lets them go to work while we work for them.

The creation of appearance by way of Designation is one of the few progressive developments in criminal law statute and bureaucracy in Canada in the last 20 years.  The majority of the other changes have made a criminal proceeding more degrading and complex for a person  charged with an offence.

This is wrong.  Achieving criminal justice has nothing to do with implementing procedures that prolong the number of appearances an accused has to make before he can have a trial and be cleared of the allegations against him. 

Our 'set date' courts are degrading experiences for people who have to appear themselves.  They are a punishment in the face of the presumption of innocence.  They are no place for the people we represent.