Statement from Eric Tolppanen, Assistant Deputy Minister, Alberta Crown Prosecution Service:
“A key element of access to justice is ensuring court cases are heard in a reasonable amount of time, which is why the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service (ACPS) has been working to reduce trial delay.
“The ACPS has introduced a process that is intended to ensure serious and violent cases are heard in a reasonable amount of time, in light of the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision that requires cases to be heard within specific timelines. The new process uses a ‘triage approach’ where Crown and court resources are used proportionately with the seriousness of a case, and with the most serious and violent offences being prioritized. Crown will utilize their discretion to decide where Crown and court resources would be most appropriately deployed.”
- As the triage process is implemented, work continues on policy development and working with justice system partners. The triage approach, which may be refined as it is being implemented, is based on three principles:
- Serious and violent cases are prioritized: focus on those cases that involve allegations of serious and violent offences.
- Proportionality: ACPS and court resources should be used in proportion to the seriousness of an alleged offence.
- Early Assessment: Cases should be assessed as soon as possible so that resources can be properly deployed.
- The work of individual Crown prosecutors remains independent, and they will continue to exercise their discretion in determining how best to proceed based on a case-by-case review.