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

Act current to 2014-12-08 and last amended on 2014-12-06. 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:Accused and spouse

    (2) The wife or husband of a person charged with an offence under subsection 136(1) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act or with an offence under any of sections 151, 152, 153, 155 or 159, subsection 160(2) or (3), or sections 170 to 173, 179, 215, 218, 271 to 273, 279.01 to 279.03, 280 to 283, 286.1 to 286.3, 291 to 294 or 329 of the Criminal Code, or an attempt to commit any such offence, is a competent and compellable witness for the prosecution without the consent of the person charged.

  • 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.

  • Marginal note:Offences against young persons

    (4) The wife or husband of a person charged with an offence against any of sections 220, 221, 235, 236, 237, 239, 240, 266, 267, 268 or 269 of the Criminal Code where the complainant or victim is under the age of fourteen years is a competent and compellable witness for the prosecution without the consent of the person charged.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (5) Nothing in this section affects a case where the wife or husband of a person charged with an offence may at common law be called as a witness without the consent of that person.

  • 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.