Authorization of class action against the Attorney General of Quebec for violations of detainees’ Charter right to the presumption of innocence and reasonable bail

We are very pleased to announce that the Superior Court of Quebec has rendered a judgment authorizing this class action brought against the Attorney General of Québec for the systematic violation of the right of detainees in Québec to have their detention reviewed by a judge in accordance with the Criminal Code.

Kugler Kandestin is collaborating on this class action with Coupal Chauvelot.

This case concerns the rights of detainees to have their detention reviewed by a judge free of charge and at the request of the jailer. All detainees, who have not yet been tried, are entitled to the presumption of innocence and to reasonable bail. These rights mean that, under the Criminal Code of Canada, the person holding an accused in pre-trial detention must apply to a judge, within 90 days of the initial order to detain, to see if the accused can be released. Until very recently in Québec, these applications were never made, and accused were therefore held in detention in violation of the Criminal Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The absence of these review applications creates a troubling incentive for an accused to plead guilty, even if he or she is innocent, as the Supreme Court of Canada observed in R. v. Myers, 2019 SCC 18. This class action seeks to compensate detainees whose constitutional rights have been violated in the manner described above. The class action claims a minimum of $6,000 of damages for each member of the class.

You can access further details about this class action by consulting the Notice to members approved by the Court.

If you or someone you know has been held in pre-trial detention and the jailer has not applied to a judge to assess the possibility of release, then we encourage you to contact one of the attorneys working on this case.

Robert Kugler
(514) 878-2861 ext. 116

Victor Chauvelot
(514) 903-3390
Alexandre Brosseau-Wery
(514) 878-2861 ext. 147

Louis-Nicholas Coupal
(514) 903-3390

Your communications with us are free and will be kept strictly confidential.

We will continue to update this page as the case progresses.