News @ Cooper, Sandler, Shime & Bergman LLP - Toronto Criminal Law Firm

R. v. De Zen et al, 2010 ON SC 974 (CanLII)
Published: June 22, 2010

The Attorney General required the accused in a lengthy and complex fraud trial to be tried by a judge and jury in the Superior Court, despite the election of all accused to be tried by a Provincial Court judge (that is, in the lower court).  The Attorney General relied on his powers under s.568 of the Criminal Code of Canada.  The accused applied to set aside the Attorney General’s requirement on the basis that it constituted an abuse of the court’s processes.  No reasons for the decision to issue the requirement were given.  No advance notice was provided.  The requirement was imposed after the trial judge had already been selected.  The parties had proceeded on the basis that the case would be tried by a judge without a jury in the Provincial Court.  In the circumstances, the accused met the high onus of demonstrating that the Attorney General’s actions constituted an abuse of the court’s processes.  Their election to be tried by judge without a jury in the Provincial Court was restored.