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Ontario Court of Appeal issuing ‘all-in-one’ release order for sureties during COVID-19

Monday, April 06, 2020 @ 12:10 PM | By Amanda Jerome

On April 5, Chief Justice George Strathy, of the Ontario Court of Appeal, released a practice direction regarding applications for bail pending appeal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The direction, which came into effect on the same day it was released, applies to “all bail-related matters, including bail pending appeal applications, applications to vary bails, applications to extend bails, and bail reviews” at the Court of Appeal.

“Where the appellant is proposing a release order with sureties, in addition to providing the names of the sureties and the amount for which each is to be liable (as required by Criminal Appeal Rules, subrule 32(1)(i)), counsel are also asked to provide the following additional information on the draft release order in relation to each surety: (i) full legal name, as depicted on government-issued identification; (ii) date of birth; (iii) home address; (iv) phone number; and (v) email address (if available),” the direction advised.

The direction also stated that the Court of Appeal “will be issuing a new, ‘all-in-one’ release order, with an appendix attached, which must be completed by the sureties (if any), the appellant, and a judge, justice, or clerk of the court.”

“No additional forms or orders will be required. In particular, no surety declarations (under s. 515.1 of the Criminal Code) are required. However, this does not alleviate the requirement to provide surety affidavits as part of the application materials in accordance with subrule 32(1),” the direction added.

The direction asks that counsel for the appellant work with Crown counsel to “draft proposed conditions for release, should release be granted, and submit the draft ‘all-in-one’ release order with their application materials.”