The Final Report on Early Case Consideration of the Steering Committee on Justice Efficiencies and Access to the Justice System

Criminal Case Flow Management

Experience in Canada and elsewhere suggests that effective delay reduction can only be achieved by supervision or management of the time and events involved in the movement of a case through the court system from the point of initiation to disposition. There is a broad consensus that the following measures contribute to effective case flow management.[14]

  • Rapid preparation and transmission to the prosecutor of necessary police and forensic documentation.
  • Rapid retrieval of prior criminal record information.
  • Effective early case screening and vetting by prosecutors.
  • Realistic prosecution policies.
  • Early appointment of defence counsel for eligible accused and, for other cases, court procedures that ensure prompt participation by counsel for the accused.
  • Early disclosure by the prosecutor, if possible in advance of the first court appearance of the accused.[15]
  • Case differentiation, with separate tracks used for the processing of cases depending upon their complexity.
  • Case scheduling practices that facilitate expeditious disposition of simple cases.
  • Rapid identification of cases likely to require more counsel time and judicial attention so that good use can be made of limited courtroom capacity and counsel preparation time.
  • Case timetables set by the judge in consultation with counsel and geared to the complexity of the case.
  • Meaningful court events, designed to resolve cases or narrow issues.
  • The development of a "legal culture" that does not tolerate delay.


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