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Criminal Appearance Court Pre-Booking

Nov 3, 2021
Following discussion with members of the Criminal Bar in Edmonton and Calgary, and as a reminder to all counsel appearing in Criminal Appearance Court (CAC):

1. The following matters cannot be pre-booked in CAC:

  • matters with no Designation of Counsel filed in Queen's Bench
  • matters with Warrant to Hold outstanding
  • all habeas corpus applications and proceedings under the Extradition Act
  • Direct indictments where the indictment is the original charge, or where there is no Designation of Counsel filed in Queen's Bench, or where the accused is self-represented.

2. (NEW) In accordance with 1. above, the following matters can now be pre-booked in CAC:

  • all murder charges
  • all trials in excess of three weeks in length
  • all situations where counsel expect to challenge jurors for cause
  • all enhanced (early) dates (for in-custody accused or Jordan threatened cases)
3. Counsel can pre-book consent trial dates that fall within Jordan deadlines; and consent trial dates that fall outside Jordan deadlines where defence counsel waives the Jordan deadline in writing (email is sufficient confirmation so long as it is provided to or The approval of Chief Justice Moreau (for all judicial centres Red Deer and north) or Associate Chief Justice Rooke (for all judicial centres Calgary and south) is required for trial dates set later than 13 months from the date of first appearance in QBAC for all in-custody matters and later than 15 months for all matters where the accused is not in custody, provided those dates do not exceed the Jordan deadline.
4. Counsel can seek prior desk approval of the CAC Justice for all consent change of counsel applications where the trial date is not adjourned and a Designation of (new) Counsel has been signed (not yet filed in Queen's Bench given the pending application for change of counsel/ requirement for Court approval). All other change of counsel applications must continue to be heard in CAC.
4. Direct indictment setting of trial dates on first appearance can now be pre-booked where the matter was previously before the Provincial Court, if a Designation of Counsel is filed in Queen's Bench. Crown counsel can present at the CAC hearing a list of pre-booked Direct indictment matters where request is made to transfer process.