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Withdrawals and Stays

It is the duty of Crown counsel to make sure that cases meet both aspects of the charge approval standard throughout the proceedings.

If, after charge approval but before the conclusion of the trial, Crown counsel decides that either the evidentiary or the public interest test can no longer be met, Crown counsel may apply to withdraw the charges or may enter a stay of proceedings on the charges.

A stay of proceedings is a direction to the clerk of the court to stop the proceedings for a period of time. Crown counsel can, within certain limits, restart the proceedings but proceedings cannot be reopened after six months for summary matters and a year for indictable matters. Most matters that have been stayed are not reopened.

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