Edmonton Remand Centre subject of judicial scrutiny

Justice R.P. Marceau released a lengthy judgment today commenting on multiple Charter violations committed against a group of 24 inmates at the Edmonton Remand Centre (ERC).

The applicants in the case were originally arrested in Red Deer under the suspicion that they were connected with an Asian gang in the area. They brought forward their original complaint in 2001.

The Edmonton Journal announced the release of the judgment yesterday. While Justice Marceau pointed out that the scrutiny that the ERC has been under has led to many improvements to that facility, counsel for the applicants disagreed saying that conditions had in fact worsened.

In his judgment, Marceau J. also said that a full-frontal Charter attack was impracticable and “could not lead to a meaningful remedy for inmates who expected to be in the remand facility for more than three years before trial.” He recommended instead that these issues be addressed through a judicial review or a focused Charter challenge centred on a single inmate. He also pointed to the necessity of making Legal Aid available to inmates at the ERC so that Charter violations may be properly documented and brought before the courts.