Stay of Proceedings for an Abuse of Process  

In R. v. O’Connor, [1995] 4 S.C.R. 411, a majority of the Supreme Court of Canada had recognized that the common law abuse of process doctrine has essentially been subsumed within Charterbreach analysis under section 7. Principles of fundamental justice both reflect and accommodate the common law doctrine of abuse of process such that there is no utility in maintaining two distinct analytic regimes: O’Connor, at paras. 70-71.A stay of proceedings is the most drastic remedy a criminal court can order (R. v. Regan, 2002 SCC 12 (CanLII), [2002] 1 S.C.R. 297, at para. 53).  It permanently halts the prosecution of an accused.  In doing so, the truth-seeking function of the trial is frustrated and the public is deprived of the opportunity to see justice done on the merits.  In many cases, alleged victims of crime are deprived of their day in court.  In some sense, an accused who is granted a stay under the residual category realizes a windfall.Nonetheless, there are rare occasions —the “clearest of cases” — when a stay of proceedings for an abuse of process will be warranted (R. v. O’Connor, 1995 CanLII 51 (SCC), [1995] 4 S.C.R. 411, at para. 68).  These cases generally fall into two categories: (1) where state conduct compromises the fairness of an accused’s trial (the “main” category); and(2) where state conduct creates no threat to trial fairness but undermining the integrity of the judicial process (the “residual” category).O’Connor, at para. 73; R. v. Babos, 2014 SCC 16, [2014] 1 S.C.R. 309, at para. 30,31. Reserved for the clearest of casesAs the authorities repeatedly emphasize in connection with both the main and residual categories of abuse of process, stays of proceedings are rare, reserved for the