New SCC Decision Changes the Right to Reasonable Bail in Canada

By Ginger Holmes
Categories: Blog, Litigation

R. v. Antic, 2017 SCC 27, changed the landscape of judicial interim release in Canada. With Antic, the Supreme Court of Canada reestablished the presumption of innocence and the necessity for reasonable bail based on individual circumstances.

Bail hearings are an expedited process in our country and our highest Court confirmed the two rights of an accused at the pre-trial stage: the right not to be denied bail without just cause and the right to a reasonable bail. The reasonableness relates to the quantum and terms of restrictions of a bail order.

Antic provided new directives to bail courts. The Court made it clear that unconditional release is the default position and imposed a ladder principle which places a burden on the Crown to show why restrictive forms of release should be imposed. The presumption is release on an undertaking with no conditions at the earliest reasonable opportunity. The new directive provided by the Court strengthens the rights of the accused and places a higher burden on the Crown.

For a link to the full decision, see: https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/16649/index.do