R v C (2003)
- Clayton Rice, K.C.
This Edmonton case was the largest prosecution in Alberta legal history up to that time. It began on September 24, 1999, and was continuously before the courts until the trial judge granted the defendants’ motion for a stay of proceedings on September 8, 2003. A special courtroom was constructed in the Law Courts Building to accommodate the trial. The case involved two parallel trials, over 400 police officers, multiple wiretap authorizations and search warrants, and approximately 189,000 pages of documents. The third Information in the Provincial Court of Alberta had charged 37 defendants with 41 offences. The case became notorious when it began to collapse during two years of pretrial disclosure and privilege motions. The trial judge called it a “new species” when she stayed all charges for breach of the defendants’ right to be trial within a reasonable time under ss 11(b) and 24(1) of the Charter of Rights.