In a bustling provincial courthouse there is an ever-present risk of human error in the preparation of court orders.
After a judge’s decision on bail or sentence, counsel should ensure that the subsequent written orders reflect the judge’s oral determination.
Errors in orders that are not corrected promptly may have significant adverse ramifications for a client’s liberty interests (for example, being arrested for a breach of a bail condition that was transcribed inaccurately) or long-term consequences with respect to record-keeping (for example, a probation order that was recorded as a suspended sentence rather than a discharge).
When making submissions on bail or sentence, counsel are well advised to reduce any proposed conditions to writing to facilitate the preparation of the associated orders.
Counsel should not rely on clients to spot errors when they are signing orders.