Delay in Youth Court Proceedings: R v K.J.M. 2019 SCC 55

  • November 20, 2019
  • Brock Jones

On November 15, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in R v K.J.M., 2019 SCC 55. The case provided the court with its first opportunity in nearly 10 years to analyze the principles of the youth criminal justice system. The decision addressed whether or not the framework established by the court in  R v.  Jordan 2016 SCC 27, respecting an accused person’s right to be tried within a reasonable time applied to young persons as well as adults.

In R v Jordan, the Supreme Court introduced a new framework for applications brought under s. 11(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which grants “[a]ny person charged with an offence… the right… to be tried within a reasonable time.” The new framework sought to address a “culture of complacency towards delay” that had been allowed to take root. Jordan established a presumptive ceiling of 18 months for single-stage Provincial Court proceedings and a 30-month ceiling for proceedings conducted in the Superior Court. Jordan was an adult person though, and the case did not answer whether or not those ceilings should also be applied in youth criminal justice proceedings.