Negotiating Release? Analysing Decision Making in Bail Court [2019]

The vast majority of accused in Canada are released on bail with conditions pending the resolution of their case. As members of the court-room workgroup, the defence, the Crown, and the Justice of the Peace (JP) are tasked with negotiating a set of release conditions in a timely fashion; yet little work has attempted to understand how exchanges between these court-room participants shape the number and type of bail conditions imposed and how closely their in-court actions align with their legally mandated roles. Data collected from court-room observations of 257 bail cases in southwestern Ontario show that the distinct occupational roles of the defence, the Crown, and JPs are blurred within bail proceedings, contributing to a culture of numerous conditions and restrictive releases.

Carolyn Yule & Rachel Schumann
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, March 04, 2019
DOI: 10.3138/cjccj.2018-0028