Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2016-08-01 and last amended on 2016-06-17. Previous Versions

Pre-hearing Conference

Marginal note:Pre-hearing conference
  •  (1) Subject to subsection (2), on application by the prosecutor or the accused or on its own motion, the court, or a judge of the court, before which, or the judge, provincial court judge or justice before whom, any proceedings are to be held may order that a conference between the prosecutor and the accused or counsel for the accused, to be presided over by the court, judge, provincial court judge or justice, be held prior to the proceedings to consider the matters that, to promote a fair and expeditious hearing, would be better decided before the start of the proceedings, and other similar matters, and to make arrangements for decisions on those matters.

  • Marginal note:Mandatory pre-trial hearing for jury trials

    (2) In any case to be tried with a jury, a judge of the court before which the accused is to be tried shall, before the trial, order that a conference between the prosecutor and the accused or counsel for the accused, to be presided over by a judge of that court, be held in accordance with the rules of court made under sections 482 and 482.1 to consider any matters that would promote a fair and expeditious trial.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 127, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 45(F);
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 73;
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 50.

Juries

Marginal note:Qualification of jurors
  •  (1) A person who is qualified as a juror according to, and summoned as a juror in accordance with, the laws of a province is qualified to serve as a juror in criminal proceedings in that province.

  • Marginal note:No disqualification based on sex

    (2) Notwithstanding any law of a province referred to in subsection (1), no person may be disqualified, exempted or excused from serving as a juror in criminal proceedings on the grounds of his or her sex.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 626;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 128.
Marginal note:Presiding judge

 The judge before whom an accused is tried may be either the judge who presided over matters pertaining to the selection of a jury before the commencement of a trial or another judge of the same court.

  • 2002, c. 13, s. 51.
Marginal note:Support for juror with physical disability

 The judge may permit a juror with a physical disability who is otherwise qualified to serve as a juror to have technical, personal, interpretative or other support services.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 627;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 2 (1st Supp.), s. 1;
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 4.

Challenging the Array

 [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 129]

Marginal note:Challenging the jury panel
  •  (1) The accused or the prosecutor may challenge the jury panel only on the ground of partiality, fraud or wilful misconduct on the part of the sheriff or other officer by whom the panel was returned.

  • Marginal note:In writing

    (2) A challenge under subsection (1) shall be in writing and shall state that the person who returned the panel was partial or fraudulent or that he wilfully misconducted himself, as the case may be.

  • Marginal note:Form

    (3) A challenge under this section may be in Form 40.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 629;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 130.
Marginal note:Trying ground of challenge

 Where a challenge is made under section 629, the judge shall determine whether the alleged ground of challenge is true or not, and where he is satisfied that the alleged ground of challenge is true, he shall direct a new panel to be returned.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 559.

Empanelling Jury

Marginal note:Names of jurors on cards
  •  (1) The name of each juror on a panel of jurors that has been returned, his number on the panel and his address shall be written on a separate card, and all the cards shall, as far as possible, be of equal size.

  • Marginal note:To be placed in box

    (2) The sheriff or other officer who returns the panel shall deliver the cards referred to in subsection (1) to the clerk of the court who shall cause them to be placed together in a box to be provided for the purpose and to be thoroughly shaken together.

  • Marginal note:Alternate jurors

    (2.1) If the judge considers it advisable in the interests of justice to have one or two alternate jurors, the judge shall so order before the clerk of the court draws out the cards under subsection (3) or (3.1).

  • Marginal note:Additional jurors

    (2.2) If the judge considers it advisable in the interests of justice, he or she may order that 13 or 14 jurors, instead of 12, be sworn in accordance with this Part before the clerk of the court draws out the cards under subsection (3) or (3.1).

  • Marginal note:Cards to be drawn by clerk of court

    (3) If the array of jurors is not challenged or the array of jurors is challenged but the judge does not direct a new panel to be returned, the clerk of the court shall, in open court, draw out one after another the cards referred to in subsection (1), call out the number on each card as it is drawn and confirm with the person who responds that he or she is the person whose name appears on the card drawn, until the number of persons who have answered is, in the opinion of the judge, sufficient to provide a full jury and any alternate jurors ordered by the judge after allowing for orders to excuse, challenges and directions to stand by.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (3.1) The court, or a judge of the court, before which the jury trial is to be held may, if the court or judge is satisfied that it is necessary for the proper administration of justice, order the clerk of the court to call out the name and the number on each card.

  • Marginal note:Juror and other persons to be sworn

    (4) The clerk of the court shall swear each member of the jury, and any alternate jurors, in the order in which his or her card was drawn and shall swear any other person providing technical, personal, interpretative or other support services to a juror with a physical disability.

  • Marginal note:Drawing additional cards if necessary

    (5) If the number of persons who answer under subsection (3) or (3.1) is not sufficient to provide a full jury and the number of alternate jurors ordered by the judge, the clerk of the court shall proceed in accordance with subsections (3), (3.1) and (4) until 12 jurors — or 13 or 14 jurors, as the case may be, if the judge makes an order under subsection (2.2) — and any alternate jurors are sworn.

  • Marginal note:Ban on publication, limitation to access or use of information

    (6) On application by the prosecutor or on its own motion, the court or judge before which a jury trial is to be held may, if the court or judge is satisfied that such an order is necessary for the proper administration of justice, make an order

    • (a) directing that the identity of a juror or any information that could disclose their identity shall not be published in any document or broadcast or transmitted in any way; or

    • (b) limiting access to or the use of that information.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 631;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 131;
  • 1992, c. 41, s. 1;
  • 1998, c. 9, s. 5;
  • 2001, c. 32, ss. 38, 82;
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 52;
  • 2005, c. 32, s. 20;
  • 2011, c. 16, s. 7.
Marginal note:Excusing jurors

 The judge may, at any time before the commencement of a trial, order that any juror be excused from jury service, whether or not the juror has been called pursuant to subsection 631(3) or (3.1) or any challenge has been made in relation to the juror, for reasons of

  • (a) personal interest in the matter to be tried;

  • (b) relationship with the judge presiding over the jury selection process, the judge before whom the accused is to be tried, the prosecutor, the accused, the counsel for the accused or a prospective witness; or

  • (c) personal hardship or any other reasonable cause that, in the opinion of the judge, warrants that the juror be excused.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 632;
  • 1992, c. 41, s. 2;
  • 2001, c. 32, s. 39;
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 53.
Marginal note:Stand by

 The judge may direct a juror who has been called pursuant to subsection 631(3) or (3.1) to stand by for reasons of personal hardship or any other reasonable cause.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 633;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 185(F);
  • 1992, c. 41, s. 2;
  • 2001, c. 32, s. 40.
Marginal note:Peremptory challenges
  •  (1) A juror may be challenged peremptorily whether or not the juror has been challenged for cause pursuant to section 638.

  • Marginal note:Maximum number

    (2) Subject to subsections (2.1) to (4), the prosecutor and the accused are each entitled to

    • (a) twenty peremptory challenges, where the accused is charged with high treason or first degree murder;

    • (b) twelve peremptory challenges, where the accused is charged with an offence, other than an offence mentioned in paragraph (a), for which the accused may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding five years; or

    • (c) four peremptory challenges, where the accused is charged with an offence that is not referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

  • Marginal note:If 13 or 14 jurors

    (2.01) If the judge orders under subsection 631(2.2) that 13 or 14 jurors be sworn in accordance with this Part, the total number of peremptory challenges that the prosecutor and the accused are each entitled to is increased by one in the case of 13 jurors or two in the case of 14 jurors.

  • Marginal note:If alternate jurors

    (2.1) If the judge makes an order for alternate jurors, the total number of peremptory challenges that the prosecutor and the accused are each entitled to is increased by one for each alternate juror.

  • Marginal note:Supplemental peremptory challenges

    (2.2) For the purposes of replacing jurors under subsection 644(1.1), the prosecutor and the accused are each entitled to one peremptory challenge for each juror to be replaced.

  • Marginal note:Where there are multiple counts

    (3) Where two or more counts in an indictment are to be tried together, the prosecutor and the accused are each entitled only to the number of peremptory challenges provided in respect of the count for which the greatest number of peremptory challenges is available.

  • Marginal note:Where there are joint trials

    (4) Where two or more accused are to be tried together,

    • (a) each accused is entitled to the number of peremptory challenges to which the accused would be entitled if tried alone; and

    • (b) the prosecutor is entitled to the total number of peremptory challenges available to all the accused.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 634;
  • 1992, c. 41, s. 2;
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 54;
  • 2008, c. 18, s. 25;
  • 2011, c. 16, s. 8.
 
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