Manitoba judge recommends province give court power to cancel mandatory inquests

A Manitoba judge is recommending the province give courts the power to quash mandatory inquests to save time and resources.
Judge Brian Colli said inquests tend to take too long and cost too much, which diverts resources from other areas of the judicial system. (Bert Savard/CBC)

A Manitoba judge is recommending the province give courts the power to quash mandatory inquests to save time and resources.

Judge Brian Colli made the recommendation after presiding over an inquest into the death of an intoxicated man who died in RCMP custody after a fall.

Colli says the RCMP was the only party that requested standing, but the inquest still took two years from start to finish.

He says inquests tend to be costly and drawn out, which takes away precious resources from other areas of the judicial system.

Colli recommends the province amend the Fatality Inquiries Act to allow judges to cancel a mandatory inquest if no member of the public expresses interest and it's unlikely to yield any recommendations.

Inquests are mandatory in Manitoba if someone dies while in police custody or in a psychiatric institution.