2The early adjudication of preliminary issues facilitates many other aspects of the case, such ascase preparation, discussions in relation to case resolution, and providing insight into theduration of the trial.The Case Management Judge could adjudicate issues such as:
admissibility of evidence;
change of venue;
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
severance of accused or counts on the indictment.The Case Management Judge could also go on to adjudicate upon any issue referred by the judgepresiding over the presentation of the evidence on the merits. Furthermore, he or she couldpreside over the remainder of the trial with or without a jury, during the presentation of evidenceon the merits.
Reduce Duplication of Processes
Often, in large complex cases, many of the preliminary issues involving similar evidence arecommon to a number of cases. One of the proposed amendments would allow a joint hearing of preliminary motions involving similar evidence that arise in related but separate trials.
Delayed Enforcement of Severance Order
Currently, where a judge orders the severance of counts or separate trials for certain co-accusedprior to the adjudication of the preliminary issues, the evidence must be presented in each of theresulting trials in support of these preliminary issues. This duplicates efforts and increases therisk of inconsistent rulings. This bill proposes to allow a court to delay the enforcement of aseverance order allowing a preliminary issue pertaining to more than one accused or count to beadjudicated by one judge only, prior to the severance, thus preventing unnecessary duplication.
Rulings Binding in New Trial Resulting from a Mistrial
would also be amended so that when a mistrial is declared and a new trialordered, decisions on certain preliminary issues continue to bind the parties unless the court issatisfied that this would not be in the interests of justice.
Amending Direct Indictments
Currently, if a direct indictment contains a technical error, a new direct indictment must bepreferred, which involves the personal written consent of the Attorney General or DeputyAttorney General. This bill proposes to empower the court to amend technical defects in directindictments,
as is the current practice in the case of regular indictments.
Maintaining Bail/Detention Orders where Direct Indictment is Preferred
Another proposal provides that a new bail hearing will no longer be held when an accused issubject to a bail or detention order for an offence and a direct indictment is preferred chargingthe same offence or an included offence.