Babos: Further Narrowing Access to a Stay of Proceedings Where the Integrity of the Judicial Process Is Implicated

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R v Babos, Abuse of Process, O'Connor, Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Procedrual Fairness, Judicial Stay of Proceedings, Judicial Misconduct


Canadian law surrounding the discernment of abuse of process and the search for an appropriate remedy is still traversing relatively new terrain. Although the courts' discretionary power to stay proceedings had a tremulous gestation period before Jewitt affirmed its viability in cases where "the Crown by its abuse of process is disentitled to a conviction," it took ten years before the broad contours of the current jural landscape were drawn. O'Connor, the "seminal" case which established the confluence between the common law and the Charter and the need to canvass both procedural wrongs relating to fairness and those which violate the residual category of the "community's sense of fair play and decency" is less than two decades old. Each authority which canvasses the latter variant is dissected carefully because these cases help to delineate what measures are "necessary to preserve and protect the integrity of the justice system" in order to avoid "judicial condonation of egregious misconduct" which would "erode the public's confidence in the administration of justice." Regrettably, Babos makes the already elusive remedy of a judicial stay of proceedings for this type of "impugned misconduct° even less accessible.