Megan's quite right on this point. There's always discretion for the judges to abridge any of the notice requirements, and that happens quite routinely. Already questions about prior sexual history may only become relevant in the middle of the trial, and that's happened on a few occasions when I've been counsel, and they are argued as a mid-trial ruling.
That's quite right. Every time this procedure is invoked, and it will be invoked every time, it is going to result in a delay of six months or more. In Ottawa, we're looking at eight to 10 months to secure a date. That's the reality.
That is going to be the de facto delay occasioned by each occasion. I think you also have to take into consideration what Ms. Leamon has said, and that is that lawyers are expensive, and there's going to be a difference in justice that complainants can receive, if that is the purpose here, based on whether they can afford a lawyer or not.
Provincial legal aid plans may help fund that. There's a limited pot of money there, and that's going to come out of money that can go to accused people to assist in their defence. What you actually are going to be seeing here probably is individuals who are accused who don't have a lawyer, or maybe have a lawyer appointed to ask the complainant questions for that limited purpose, and complainants who will receive funding on a good day, or on a bad day, if they are impoverished and marginalized, maybe not. Either way, you're looking at a delay of six to eight months from the date this application is brought.