Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2014-06-12 and last amended on 2014-06-01. Previous Versions

Procedure where Witness Refuses to Testify

Marginal note:Witness refusing to be examined
  •  (1) Where a person, being present at a preliminary inquiry and being required by the justice to give evidence,

    • (a) refuses to be sworn,

    • (b) having been sworn, refuses to answer the questions that are put to him,

    • (c) fails to produce any writings that he is required to produce, or

    • (d) refuses to sign his deposition,

    without offering a reasonable excuse for his failure or refusal, the justice may adjourn the inquiry and may, by warrant in Form 20, commit the person to prison for a period not exceeding eight clear days or for the period during which the inquiry is adjourned, whichever is the lesser period.

  • Marginal note:Further commitment

    (2) Where a person to whom subsection (1) applies is brought before the justice on the resumption of the adjourned inquiry and again refuses to do what is required of him, the justice may again adjourn the inquiry for a period not exceeding eight clear days and commit him to prison for the period of adjournment or any part thereof, and may adjourn the inquiry and commit the person to prison from time to time until the person consents to do what is required of him.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (3) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prevent the justice from sending the case for trial on any other sufficient evidence taken by him.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 472.

Remedial Provisions

Marginal note:Irregularity or variance not to affect validity

 The validity of any proceeding at or subsequent to a preliminary inquiry is not affected by

  • (a) any irregularity or defect in the substance or form of the summons or warrant;

  • (b) any variance between the charge set out in the summons or warrant and the charge set out in the information; or

  • (c) any variance between the charge set out in the summons, warrant or information and the evidence adduced by the prosecution at the inquiry.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 473.
Marginal note:Adjournment if accused misled

 Where it appears to the justice that the accused has been deceived or misled by any irregularity, defect or variance mentioned in section 546, he may adjourn the inquiry and may remand the accused or grant him interim release in accordance with Part XVI.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 474;
  • 1974-75-76, c. 93, s. 59.1.
Marginal note:Inability of justice to continue

 Where a justice acting under this Part has commenced to take evidence and dies or is unable to continue for any reason, another justice may

  • (a) continue taking the evidence at the point at which the interruption in the taking of the evidence occurred, where the evidence was recorded pursuant to section 540 and is available; or

  • (b) commence taking the evidence as if no evidence had been taken, where no evidence was recorded pursuant to section 540 or where the evidence is not available.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 100.