Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2016-02-03 and last amended on 2015-07-23. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Rules and practice same as in civil cases

 Except where otherwise provided by this Part or by rules of court, the practice and procedure in connection with the appointment of commissioners under this Part, the taking of evidence by commissioners, the certifying and return thereof and the use of the evidence in the proceedings shall, as far as possible, be the same as those that govern like matters in civil proceedings in the superior court of the province in which the proceedings are taken.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 642.

Video and Audio Evidence

Marginal note:Video links, etc. — witness in Canada

 A court may order that a witness in Canada give evidence by means of technology that permits the witness to testify elsewhere in Canada in the virtual presence of the parties and the court, if the court is of the opinion that it would be appropriate in all the circumstances, including

  • (a) the location and personal circumstances of the witness;

  • (b) the costs that would be incurred if the witness had to be physically present; and

  • (c) the nature of the witness’ anticipated evidence.

  • 1999, c. 18, s. 95.
Marginal note:Video links, etc. — witness outside Canada
  •  (1) A court shall receive evidence given by a witness outside Canada by means of technology that permits the witness to testify in the virtual presence of the parties and the court unless one of the parties satisfies the court that the reception of such testimony would be contrary to the principles of fundamental justice.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (2) A party who wishes to call a witness to give evidence under subsection (1) shall give notice to the court before which the evidence is to be given and the other parties of their intention to do so not less than ten days before the witness is scheduled to testify.

  • 1999, c. 18, s. 95.
Marginal note:Audio evidence — witness in Canada

 The court may order that a witness in Canada give evidence by means of technology that permits the parties and the court to hear and examine the witness elsewhere in Canada, if the court is of the opinion that it would be appropriate, considering all the circumstances including

  • (a) the location and personal circumstances of the witness;

  • (b) the costs that would be incurred if the witness had to be physically present;

  • (c) the nature of the witness’ anticipated evidence; and

  • (d) any potential prejudice to either of the parties caused by the fact that the witness would not be seen by them.

  • 1999, c. 18, s. 95.
Marginal note:Audio evidence — witness outside Canada

 The court may receive evidence given by a witness outside Canada by means of technology that permits the parties and the court in Canada to hear and examine the witness, if the court is of the opinion that it would be appropriate, considering all the circumstances including

  • (a) the nature of the witness’ anticipated evidence; and

  • (b) any potential prejudice to either of the parties caused by the fact that the witness would not be seen by them.

  • 1999, c. 18, s. 95.
Marginal note:Oath or affirmation

 The evidence given under section 714.2 or 714.4 shall be given

  • (a) under oath or affirmation in accordance with Canadian law;

  • (b) under oath or affirmation in accordance with the law in the place in which the witness is physically present; or

  • (c) in any other manner that demonstrates that the witness understands that they must tell the truth.

  • 1999, c. 18, s. 95.
Marginal note:Other laws about witnesses to apply

 When a witness who is outside Canada gives evidence under section 714.2 or 714.4, the evidence is deemed to be given in Canada, and given under oath or affirmation in accordance with Canadian law, for the purposes of the laws relating to evidence, procedure, perjury and contempt of court.

  • 1999, c. 18, s. 95.
Marginal note:Costs of technology

 A party who wishes to call a witness to give evidence by means of the technology referred to in section 714.1, 714.2, 714.3 or 714.4 shall pay any costs associated with the use of the technology.

  • 1999, c. 18, s. 95.
Marginal note:Consent

 Nothing in sections 714.1 to 714.7 is to be construed as preventing a court from receiving evidence by means of the technology referred to in sections 714.1 to 714.4 if the parties so consent.

  • 1999, c. 18, s. 95.

Evidence Previously Taken

Marginal note:Evidence at preliminary inquiry may be read at trial in certain cases
  •  (1) Where, at the trial of an accused, a person whose evidence was given at a previous trial on the same charge, or whose evidence was taken in the investigation of the charge against the accused or on the preliminary inquiry into the charge, refuses to be sworn or to give evidence, or if facts are proved on oath from which it can be inferred reasonably that the person

    • (a) is dead,

    • (b) has since become and is insane,

    • (c) is so ill that he is unable to travel or testify, or

    • (d) is absent from Canada,

    and where it is proved that the evidence was taken in the presence of the accused, it may be admitted as evidence in the proceedings without further proof, unless the accused proves that the accused did not have full opportunity to cross-examine the witness.

  • Marginal note:Admission of evidence

    (2) Evidence that has been taken on the preliminary inquiry or other investigation of a charge against an accused may be admitted as evidence in the prosecution of the accused for any other offence on the same proof and in the same manner in all respects, as it might, according to law, be admitted as evidence in the prosecution of the offence with which the accused was charged when the evidence was taken.

  • Marginal note:Admission of evidence

    (2.1) Despite subsections (1) and (2), evidence that has been taken at a preliminary inquiry in the absence of the accused may be admitted as evidence for the purposes referred to in those subsections if the accused was absent further to the permission of a justice granted under paragraph 537(1)(j.1).

  • Marginal note:Absconding accused deemed present

    (3) For the purposes of this section, where evidence was taken at a previous trial or preliminary hearing or other proceeding in respect of an accused in the absence of the accused, who was absent by reason of having absconded, the accused is deemed to have been present during the taking of the evidence and to have had full opportunity to cross-examine the witness.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (4) Subsections (1) to (3) do not apply in respect of evidence received under subsection 540(7).

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 715;
  • 1994, c. 44, s. 77;
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 105;
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 72;
  • 2008, c. 18, s. 34.

Video-recorded Evidence

Marginal note:Evidence of victim or witness under 18
  •  (1) In any proceeding against an accused in which a victim or other witness was under the age of eighteen years at the time the offence is alleged to have been committed, a video recording made within a reasonable time after the alleged offence, in which the victim or witness describes the acts complained of, is admissible in evidence if the victim or witness, while testifying, adopts the contents of the video recording, unless the presiding judge or justice is of the opinion that admission of the video recording in evidence would interfere with the proper administration of justice.

  • Marginal note:Order prohibiting use

    (2) The presiding judge or justice may prohibit any other use of a video recording referred to in subsection (1).

  • R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 16;
  • 1997, c. 16, s. 7;
  • 2005, c. 32, s. 23.
Marginal note:Evidence of victim or witness who has a disability
  •  (1) In any proceeding against an accused in which a victim or other witness is able to communicate evidence but may have difficulty doing so by reason of a mental or physical disability, a video recording made within a reasonable time after the alleged offence, in which the victim or witness describes the acts complained of, is admissible in evidence if the victim or witness, while testifying, adopts the contents of the video recording, unless the presiding judge or justice is of the opinion that admission of the video recording in evidence would interfere with the proper administration of justice.

  • Marginal note:Order prohibiting use

    (2) The presiding judge or justice may prohibit any other use of a video recording referred to in subsection (1).

  • 1998, c. 9, s. 8;
  • 2005, c. 32, s. 23.
 
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