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Askov and Charter

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Alana Smith

on 26 November 2012

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Transcript of Askov and Charter

R. v. Askov, [1990] 2 S.C.R. 1199 and Charter Section 11 (b) By Jennifer Gillis and Alana Smith Basis of the Case Charter Section 11 (b) In 1983 Askov was charged with several offenses
First Appearance was set for July 1984, but delayed until September
Trial date was set for October 1985, but delayed until September 1986
Defence argued Section 11(b) where the case was dismissed
Further Appeals were also dismissed Any person charged with an offence has the right to be tried within a reasonable time
The primary aim of is to protect the individual's rights and to ensure fundamental justice for the accused Importance of Section 11 (b) on our court system today Section 11 (b) of the Charter is an important aspect of our justice system, without it access to justice is limited. The right to a trial within a reasonable time is fundamental to the administration of justice as the court process can become long and drawn out, causing unfairness to the accused. A person charged with an offence should have to answer for it; however, they should not have to put their lives on hold to do so.
Although the Charter provided protection prior to the landmark ruling in the Askov case, there was no clear timeframe established for when cases should be heard. Even today, it depends upon the judge’s decision and the specific court as to what will be considered “reasonable” which can be anywhere from 11-14 months for Provincial offences and an additional 6-8 months on top of that for cases heard in Superior court. The greatest impact of the Askov case has been to help clarify what a “reasonable time” is in terms of when an accused person will have their day in court to make full answer and defence.
A Day in the Life Five Reasons for Delay:
Disclosure
Earlier Trial Dates Offered
Systematic Delays
Pre-trials
Prejudice Article: Charter Section 11 b shouldn’t apply to speeding offences- Author Alan Shanoff April 2012: The author of this article has a vastly different view as to how section 11(b) of the charter should be applied, especially when it comes to provincial offences charges. Alan Shanoff is a lawyer and in the article he wrote for the Law Times News he writes that the Charter, particularly Section 11 (b) should not apply to lesser, regulatory charges.
Although Mr. Shanoff makes a point of saying that society has an interest in prompt trials to ensure fairness for all citizens, but he says that societal interests shouldn’t apply to minor traffic or regulatory offences. Mr. Shanoff also argues that provincial offences are “trifling matters” and to apply the Charter to them shows disrespect for it. He believes that because many of these offences are minor in nature, no loss of liberty or serious consequences are attached to them, so the Charter shouldn’t provide protection to people facing provincial offences charges.
Mr. Shanoff says that common sense and proportionality (being that the offence should correlate with the accused’s rights) shows that section 11 (b) shouldn’t apply to minor offences and to apply it to these offences makes a mockery of our supreme law.
Question One What was the main reason for the delay in the Askov Case? Question Two How long did it take for Askov’s case to finally get to trial? Question Three What is the average “reasonable” time for a provincial offences trial? Question Four Name three of the reasons for delay that were listed in the article. Question Five Alan Shanoff believes that section 11 (b) should not apply to what type of offences? Our Thesis The purpose of section 11 (b) of the Charter is to protect individual rights and promote access to justice. All individuals should be given the chance to clear their name as soon as practicable. This should apply to any person charged with any offence. Furthermore, when individuals are denied the right to make answer and defence within a reasonable time this can cause the public to lose confidence in the court system. When the public loses confidence in the court system, it brings the administration of justice into disrepute. Question Six Out of the two articles, which one's position did we agree with?
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