Self-Representing Defendants, Like Dellen Millard, Bring Challenges to Justice System: Experts

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Legal experts say the spectacle of an accused murderer grilling the father of his alleged victim on the witness stand is an unusual manifestation of an increasingly common occurrence in the Canadian justice system.

Self-represented defendants are arguing their criminal cases before a judge or jury with greater frequency, despite the fact that doing so takes an extra toll on all concerned, they say.

In one recent example, Dellen Millard, who is accused in the murder of a Toronto woman who vanished five years ago, has been cross examining those close to his alleged victim as he represents himself at trial, leading to some testy exchanges in court.