New bail directive for Crowns a step forward: Friedberg

Nov 23, 2017 By Matthew Friedberg

A new bail policy that directs Crown prosecutors to start with the least restrictive form of release has the potential to be helpful in reducing court backlogs and the number of people in custody as they await trial, says Toronto criminal lawyer Matthew Friedberg.

“Any bail reform is positive — it remains to be seen whether it goes far enough,” he tells Advocate Daily.

“The bail system as it stands right now in Ontario I think is in a fairly sad state of affairs.”

Friedberg, a partner with Caramanna Friedberg LLP, notes the directive follows a Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decision on bail earlier this year.

In the past, some accused persons have ended up agreeing to incredibly restrictive conditions such as house arrest “because that was what the prosecution was offering” for a consent bail, he says.

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