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Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says the justice system must work well for Albertans and, to do that, it needs resources. (Todd Korol For The Globe and Mail)
Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says the justice system must work well for Albertans and, to do that, it needs resources. (Todd Korol For The Globe and Mail)

Alberta to hire 35 Crown prosecutors to address court backlogs Add to ...

The Alberta government says it will hire 35 additional Crown prosecutors and 30 more support staff to help deal with court backlogs.

The province says that’s on top of 15 Crown prosecutors it is already recruiting.

The hirings will bring the total number of prosecutors in Alberta to more than 360 by next year.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley says the justice system must work well for Albertans and, to do that, it needs resources.

The government has sent out a protocol to Crown prosecutors to guide them on how to clear backlogs that are resulting in charges being stayed because cases are dragging on for years.

Ganley said on Wednesday that new guidelines will not see serious, violent cases such as murder or sexual assault sacrificed to save time and money.

The protocol says it might be best not to prosecute minor offences at all, and that charging someone may be enough of a deterrent.

The protocol, first announced by the province last fall, is in response to a Supreme Court decision that sets hard time limits on criminal trials to ensure an accused gets a hearing in a fair time frame.

The limit is 18 months in lower courts and 30 months in superior courts.

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