Canada Evidence Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-5)

Act current to 2015-08-04 and last amended on 2015-08-01. Previous Versions

Canada Evidence Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. C-5

An Act respecting witnesses and evidence

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Canada Evidence Act.

  • R.S., c. E-10, s. 1.

PART I

Application

Marginal note:Application

 This Part applies to all criminal proceedings and to all civil proceedings and other matters whatever respecting which Parliament has jurisdiction.

  • R.S., c. E-10, s. 2.

Witnesses

Marginal note:Interest or crime

 A person is not incompetent to give evidence by reason of interest or crime.

  • R.S., c. E-10, s. 3.
Marginal note:Accused and spouse
  •  (1) Every person charged with an offence, and, except as otherwise provided in this section, the wife or husband, as the case may be, of the person so charged, is a competent witness for the defence, whether the person so charged is charged solely or jointly with any other person.

  • Marginal note:Spouse of accused

    (2) No person is incompetent, or uncompellable, to testify for the prosecution by reason only that they are married to the accused.

  • Marginal note:Communications during marriage

    (3) No husband is compellable to disclose any communication made to him by his wife during their marriage, and no wife is compellable to disclose any communication made to her by her husband during their marriage.

  • (4) and (5) [Repealed, 2015, c. 13, s. 52]

  • Marginal note:Failure to testify

    (6) The failure of the person charged, or of the wife or husband of that person, to testify shall not be made the subject of comment by the judge or by counsel for the prosecution.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-5, s. 4;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 17;
  • 2002, c. 1, s. 166;
  • 2014, c. 25, s. 34, c. 31, s. 27;
  • 2015, c. 13, s. 52.
Marginal note:Incriminating questions
  •  (1) No witness shall be excused from answering any question on the ground that the answer to the question may tend to criminate him, or may tend to establish his liability to a civil proceeding at the instance of the Crown or of any person.

  • Marginal note:Answer not admissible against witness

    (2) Where with respect to any question a witness objects to answer on the ground that his answer may tend to criminate him, or may tend to establish his liability to a civil proceeding at the instance of the Crown or of any person, and if but for this Act, or the Act of any provincial legislature, the witness would therefore have been excused from answering the question, then although the witness is by reason of this Act or the provincial Act compelled to answer, the answer so given shall not be used or admissible in evidence against him in any criminal trial or other criminal proceeding against him thereafter taking place, other than a prosecution for perjury in the giving of that evidence or for the giving of contradictory evidence.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-5, s. 5;
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 116.