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

II. WORK OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE

The work of the Steering Committee benefited from two recent documents providing the distinct perspectives of the following organizations: the F/P/T Heads of Prosecutions and the Barreau du Québec.

2.1 Recommendations of the F/P/T Heads of Criminal Prosecutions on the Management of Mega-cases

The Recommendations of the F/P/T Heads of Prosecutions provided a very valuable contribution to the work of the Steering Committee. These recommendations deal in particular with the improvements that can be made at various stages of the conduct of a mega-case, from the investigation to the trial. They discuss in a concise and thoughtful manner the important problems encountered. The Steering Committee found them to be very comprehensive and they led to fruitful discussions among the Steering Committee members. Moreover, the Steering Committee notes that many of the recommendations of the F/P/T Heads of Prosecutions are akin to the Steering Committee's proposal regarding the “exceptional trial procedure” detailed below.

2.2 Final Report of the Barreau on Mega-trials

The Final Report of the Barreau du Québecon mega-trials, prepared by the Ad Hoc Committee on Mega-Trials of the Criminal Law Committee, was published in February 2004.

The Steering Committee notes that the Final Report of the Barreau is an insightful document that complements the recommendations of F/P/T Heads of Prosecutions very well by offering a description of the characteristics as well as examining the advantages and the disadvantages of mega-trials. The Barreau also proposes many solutions to improve the conduct of this type of trial. Many of these proposals are similar to or compatible with the “exceptional trial procedure” proposed by the Steering Committee

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