Supreme Court affirms decision to ensure timely trials

The Supreme Court of Canada is standing by its groundbreaking decision on ensuring timely criminal trials.

In its unanimous decision today, the high court ruled that a Newfoundland man facing drug and weapon charges should not face trial under new rules spelled out last July for determining unjustifiable court delays.

James Cody was arrested in Conception Bay, N.L., in January 2010 and charged with drug possession for the purposes of trafficking and possession of a prohibited weapon.

However, for various reasons Cody's trial was not slated to begin until late January 2015, more than five years later.

The trial judge stayed the criminal proceedings against Cody in December 2014 due to the delay, a decision that was overturned on appeal last year using transitional provisions of the new framework.

The Supreme Court said today that under those provisions the delay was unreasonable and therefore the order of the trial judge to halt proceedings against Cody must be restored.