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Bail court assignment

Court Visit

For this exercise, you are required to attend a minimum of overall three hours of bail hearings and/or first appearances at the Palais de Justice Montreal (1 rue Notre-Dame Est Montréal). The take-home mid-term will be based in part on your visit to the bail court. 

Bail hearings and first appearances run every weekday from 9:30-12:30 and 2:30- 4:30 in Room 3.07. Bail hearings (only) also run Monday and Tuesday from 9:30-12:30 and 2:30-4:30 in Room 5.07. In room 5.07 you will have greater chances of seeing contested bail hearings.
To see the schedule of hearings, visit and go through the following steps:
1) Accept the terms and conditions
2) Select Criminal Matters
3) Select the date range you plan to visit
4) Select Montreal Courthouse
5) Select Courtroom 3.07 or 5.07
It is recommended that you not push your visit until the last minute, as there may be adjournments or delays which prevent you from seeing any real interactions, and you may want to visit again. Please plan to go in smaller groups. If you go as a big group, it can be disruptive to those in court, and you may be turned away if there is no seating left. 
Please respect courtroom procedure and decorum. Do not eat or drink in the courtroom, do not use your phone, do not speak with your peers during the proceedings, stand when the judge enters and leaves the room. You will be required to go through security when you arrive. Bring identification.

Some questions to keep in mind during your visit: 

o What did you see that was inconsistent with your expectations or what you learned through the class and the readings? What are the implications of those inconsistencies (e.g., should the law be reformed? Should cases be understood differently? Should government policies be different? Should we realign the ways in which we understand the roles of the actors involved?)

o What legal or social policy issues did you see at play or on display in court? Did the judge/lawyers/system address those issues? How? Were those means of addressing social policy issues consistent with what you knew about criminal justice from your course materials?

o What did you find particularly engaging or troubling about what you saw? What issues did it raise? You will be asked to draw links or distinctions with what you learned in class and in your course materials.

These are just possible questions to think about and are certainly not exhaustive. The object of the exercise is to reflect critically on what you saw with reference to what you learned from readings and classes about criminal justice systems.

There is absolutely no additional research required for this assignment. You have plenty to work with in your course materials.