A new initiative by Manitoba Justice began at the start of the month called the Intensive Case Assessment Process (ICAP).
It was designed to address increasing delays within the court system. In 2005, the average time for a disposition was 120 days. In 2015, the average has increased to 159 days.
In-custody non-domestic matters will be assigned to the ICAP unit.
The ICAP unit intends to address delay caused by missing or slow disclosure and reduce delay caused by setting multi-day trials within Provincial Court.
The ICAP unit will have conduct of the file for 90 days. In that time they will quickly address issues with disclosure and after reviewing the file, provide a position on plea and sentencing.
The plan is to have a dedicated courtroom for matters to quickly appear and be dealt with in a timely manner. When trials are set from the ICAP unit, trial dates will be arranged between the Court and Defence Attorney to reduce delay. Afterwards the file will be assigned to a Crown Attorney to conduct the trial.
The Crown, Defence and Court are hopeful this program will be successful. Anything that allows people to deal with their matters faster or set their trial dates more quickly is good news.