This memorandum addresses procedures for Charter applications in criminal cases tried in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta. The Committee addressed some background issues bearing on the development of Rules of Court for Charter application procedures, including the need for Rules to follow established legal principles, to provide for “fair notice” of applications, and to preserve judicial discretion. Charter applications outside of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta are also reviewed. The current state of Charter application regulation in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta is reviewed.
The Committee proposes a standardized form for providing notice of Charter applications and proposes a standardized process for the scheduling and administration of applications. Some proposals include reform of the Rules of Courts; Charter application Rules may be addressed separately from Rules for other criminal litigation applications; different sets of Rules should be designed for applications for judicial review of legislation, applications under section 24(1) of the Charter and applications under section 24(2)of the Charter; Rules should specify a form of notice and accompanying documents for application; Rules for service should be designed; Rules should specify the period before trial by which applications should be heard; Rules should apply to self-represented litigants; and Rules should preserve judicial discretion to waive the application of Rules.