The case of an Edmonton couple accused of causing the death of their two-year-old daughter, known publicly as "M," will go straight to trial.

The Crown prosecutor has confirmed to CBC News that no preliminary hearing will be held in the case.

University of Alberta law professor Steven Penney says the move is relatively rare, but not unprecedented.

"It's used on a semi-regular basis, but it's not the norm," Penney said. "What the Criminal Code says is there has to be the personal consent in writing of either the Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General."

The child was taken off life-support in September 2012 in a case that went to the Supreme Court of Canada. Her twin sister survived.

Both girls were taken from their south Edmonton home in May 2012. Police allege they were both neglected and starved.

The couple, who remain in custody, are charged with second-degree murder, criminal negligence causing death, aggravated assault, criminal negligence causing bodily harm and failing to provide the necessities of life.

The man and woman, both 35, cannot be named under Alberta law because their two surviving children are wards of the province. 

They will return to court later this month to set a trial date.  

With files from the CBC's Janice Johnston