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Nov 28, 2018

‘Excruciating’ trial in case that lasted 17 years emblematic of troubles plaguing family courts

By Laurie H. Pawlitza
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Special to the National Post View original

On Nov. 19, 2018, Regional Senior Justice Peter Daley took an unprecedented step. Speaking to media, members of the profession and the public from the dais in the Brampton, Ont., courthouse, he addressed growing concerns over the backlog in his region’s courts.

“Regrettably, the Ontario government has failed and refused to live up to its responsibilities, despite being implored to do so countless times over many years by the Superior Court of Justice,” he said.

Quoting the Supreme Court of Canada, he went on to say that “the lack of institutional resources cannot be an excuse used by the Crown to deny an accused’s right to a timely trial. A similar argument may be made for families who are in crisis and desperately require the court’s intervention.”

Two days later, on Nov. 21, 2018, Justice Clayton Conlan released a decision arising from a ten-day trial he heard in Milton, Ont.

Justice Conlan’s decision began with these words: “This proceeding has existed for 17 years. That is not a misprint. I repeat, this proceeding has been around for three years short of two decades.”

This article was originally published in the National Post. To read the complete article, visit the National Post's website.