Justice Efficiencies and
Access to the Justice System

Final Report on Mega-trials of the Steering Committee on Justice Efficiencies and Access to the Criminal Justice System

I. BACKGROUND

At the F/P/T meeting in Charlevoix (September 30 and October 1, 2003) Ministers Responsible for Justice endorsed the creation of a Steering Committee on Justice Efficiencies and Access to the Justice System (the “ Steering Committee ”), which brings together a number of stakeholders including the Bench and the Private Bar.

At the Steering Committee's first meeting on December 8, 2003, the search for practical and lasting solutions to improve the conduct of “ mega-trials ” was identified as a priority for the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee established a Subcommittee, made up of five of its members, which it mandated to examine the issue and submit a report.

During their meeting in Ottawa in January 2004, the F/P/T Deputy Ministers Responsible for Justice welcomed the recommendations of the F/P/T Heads of Prosecutions on the management of mega-cases. They referred these recommendations to the Steering Committee for immediate review by the Subcommittee.

The Subcommittee on Mega-Trials (the “ Subcommittee ”) of the Steering Committee on Justice Efficiencies and Access to the Justice System met for two working sessions in Montreal and Quebec City respectively on February 18 and May 28, 2004. It also held two conference calls.

The Subcommittee submitted a progress report to the Steering Committee on March 15, 2004. It submitted its final report to the Steering Committee on June 15, 2004, and that report was then discussed among the members of the Steering Committee.

This document reflects the results of those discussions and constitutes the Steering Committee's final report to the F/P/T Deputy Ministers Responsible for Justice on the issue of mega-trials.

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