THE ADVOCATE 587
VOL. 77 PART 4 JULY 2019
Supreme Court of British Columbia
Criminal Practice Direction
Title: Interim Procedure for Detention Reviews Under s. 525 of the Criminal Code
Effective Date: 2019/05/21
Number: CPD – 4
This interim practice direction sets out a general procedure for detention reviews
under s. 525 of the Criminal Code following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision
in R. v. Myers, 2019 SCC 18. The new procedure was developed in a series of
meetings with representatives of the Supreme Court and Provincial Court judiciary,
Crown counsel, defence counsel, the Legal Services Society, BC Corrections,
Court Services Branch (including court sheriffs), Ministry of Children & Family
Development, and the Court’s Scheduling and legal staff. Some details remain to
be resolved, and it is expected that this interim practice direction will be updated
and replaced as experience develops with s. 525 applications and hearings.
The new procedure is designed to bring the detained person before the Court at
the earliest opportunity after they have been detained in custody pending trial for
90 days (if charged with an indictable offence) or 30 days (if charged with a summary
conviction offence), while also ensuring that Crown and defence counsel
are notified and have access to the necessary materials in sufficient time to be
ready to proceed or, in the case of defence counsel, assist the detained person in
determining whether or not to waive their right to a s. 525 hearing. Three main
steps are involved.
In the first main step, Corrections staff will initiate the application process by submitting
a written application to a central address at Supreme Court Scheduling.
In the second main step, a Scheduling Hearing will be held at a date and time set
out in a notice issued by Supreme Court Scheduling, in the location indicated in
that notice. The detained person will appear by video-link. Most Scheduling
Hearings will take place in Vancouver. Out-of-town Crown or defence counsel
may appear by video-link (if easily available) or by telephone.
In the third main step, a Detention Review Hearing will take place at the time,
date, and location fixed by the Court, unless the detained person waives their
right to have one. Detention Review Hearings will usually be held in the Supreme
Court location closest to where the trial will be held, or in the main Supreme
Court location in that region, but may be held elsewhere to convenience the various
parties involved, if the Court so directs.