Our court systems have, in recent years, been said to be inefficient,
sometimes ineffective, and even backlogged to the point where cases have to
be dismissed because of how long it takes for them to get to court. After
my trip to court, these are my opinions and observations on the "Efficiency
and Effectiveness of our Criminal Court System".
The court procedures of provincial court are very systematic and are
carried out very swiftly. It is much like a tennis match, the ball, or
control in the court, is volleyed back and forth between the judge (and
court clerk) and the lawyers. The court clerk arraigns the accused, the
defence lawyer responses with how the accused pleas, if it is "not guilty",
the court clerk asks how the Crown lawyer wishes to proceed and so forth.
However, this is not so in the Ontario Supreme Court (Trial Division),
though similar in methodical procedures, the court cases are longer and
much more time is spent on each individual part of the case, from
presenting the evidence to cross-examination of the witness, this is
because of the amount of information involved.
The general atmosphere and behaviour in the Provincial Courtrooms were
general loose and calm. The people, lawyers, judge, clerk and recorder
seem to know each other very well. They joked openly, even while the court
was in session, the defence lawyer asked if he could persuade the judge
into a lighter sentence after the judge had already made a decision in a
very easy and friendly tone of voice, something seemly unprofessional that
caused chuckles throughout the courtroom. Where in the Ontario Supreme
Court the atmosphere was much more serious, professional, strict and at
times high in tension.
Our current bail system, in either monetary terms or personal
recognizance, seemed pretty successful in Provincial Court, though not
observed in the Ontario Supreme Court, all the people did show up for their
trial, which included two people on bail for possession of marijuana
cigarettes. As a final note, no bench warrant was every called for by the
judge for people whom failed to attend their trial.
The necessity of the duty council is for those who don't have a lawyer
and is for their benefit that they discuss legal options that the accused
might have ...
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