Under s. 625.1(1) the Court has the power to order that a conference be held between the parties to speed up the trial processs. The section states that:
- Subject to subsection (2), on application by the prosecutor or the accused or on its own motion, the court, or a judge of the court, before which, or the judge, provincial court judge or justice before whom, any proceedings are to be held may order that a conference between the prosecutor and the accused or counsel for the accused, to be presided over by the court, judge, provincial court judge or justice, be held prior to the proceedings to consider the matters that, to promote a fair and expeditious hearing, would be better decided before the start of the proceedings, and other similar matters, and to make arrangements for decisions on those matters.
This is also addressed through section 482.1:
- (1) A court referred to in subsection 482(1) or (2) may make rules for case management, including rules
- (a) for the determination of any matter that would assist the court in effective and efficient case management;
Pre-Trial conferences can be helpful for a number of reasons:
- Narrow issues for trial -- parties may be able to agree on certain facts not in dispute at trial
- Learn the opponent's theory and strategy
- Gauge potential sentences -- in certain circumstances possible sentencing proposals can be bounced off the judge to get a sense of the likely outcome in a disputed sentencing hearing.
- Settle the case