This blog post seems to be becoming an annual tradition (here’s my 2010 version). This year’s holiday schedule will result in four consecutive non-juridical days (Saturday, December 24 to Tuesday, December 27). Although WASH (weekend and statutory holidays) bail courts will operate each day these courts will only accommodate new arrests. If one’s bail hearing cannot be heard then they will be remanded, in custody, to the next juridical day. Although not unheard of, it is uncommon for a contested bail hearing to occur in a WASH court – meaning that if the Crown is not prepared to consent to one’s release then they will likely be held in custody.
The bail courts can also be busy on juridical days. This past Tuesday, for example, Old City Hall’s 101 court (the provincial bail court) was rammed. While courts were offering assistance, there was just too much work to get done within the normal court day. The result is that individuals are remanded in custody. It is quite likely this will happen today (the Friday before the 4-day weekend) – however the remand will be to next Wednesday resulting in five night’s in custody.
In my mind the state of Toronto’s bail courts is just not acceptable, and what transpires over long weekends demonstrates exactly why.
To learn more about bail hearings, check out the ‘bail hearing’ section of my web site.
This blog post was written by Toronto Criminal Lawyer Adam Goodman. Adam can be reached at 416-477-6793 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.