Bail strategy

LAO plays a major role in Ontario’s criminal justice system. It is estimated that about 60 per cent of matters in the Ontario Court of Justice are Legal Aid cases. Representing criminal accused in bail proceedings is a fundamental role for duty counsel (legal aid lawyers who give free, on-the-spot legal advice in family, criminal and immigration cases). LAO estimates that duty counsel represent 80 per cent of criminal accused in bail hearings in Ontario.

In addition, through the certificate system, LAO provides funding to private lawyers to conduct bail hearings, to bring bail reviews and to represent clients who have been charged with failing to comply with the terms of their bail.

For many years, LAO has also worked with other stakeholders to improve the efficiency of the bail process by improving its role in advancing Justice on Target and promoting an effective use of available technology.

LAO’s bail system initiatives recognize and seek to address the unique concerns of the vulnerable low-income client groups that LAO serves.