Keeping Up Is Hard to Do:
A Trial Judge’s Reading Blog

Judging in the Time of a Pandemic: The Impact of COVID-19 on Bail and Sentencing in Canada

In this column, I intend to consider judging in the time of a pandemic from the perspective of how COVID-19 has affected decisions by Canadian judges in the area of sentencing and judicial interim release. In R. v. J.A., 2020 ONCA 660, the Ontario Court of Appeal suggested that “there can be no reasonable debate that COVID-19 impacts directly on the incarceration of individuals. At the same time, the public’s confidence in the administration of justice will be impacted by the manner in which both correctional officials and the courts address that impact” (at paragraph 107).