Confessions of Accused Persons
Types of Confessions
36. Confessions are judicial, official or unofficial.
Judicial Confession Explained
37. When, at his trial, the accused chooses to make a complete or partial admission of incriminating facts in respect of an offence for which he is being tried, he may make a judicial confession
(a) by pleading guilty, including pleading guilty subject to variations and exceptions, when this plea is accepted by the court under QR&O 112.25;
(b) after pleading not guilty, and whether or not he also decides to testify as a witness under oath, by personally or through his counsel or defending officer admitting, for the purpose of dispensing with proof, any fact the prosecutor must prove; or
(c) after pleading not guilty, and having elected to testify under oath as a witness in accordance with section 73, by making a self-incriminating statement in the course of his testimony.
Effect of Judicial Confession
38. (1) Subject to QR&O 112.26, when a plea of guilty has been made by the accused and accepted by the court, it is conclusive proof of guilt.
(2) If the accused, after pleading not guilty, admits, other than in the course of his own testimony, a fact alleged against him, the court may accept that admission as conclusive proof of the fact concerned.
(3) If the accused testifies on his own behalf, the court may believe or disbelieve his testimony in whole or in part, including a self-incriminating statement made in the course of that testimony.
Official Confession Defined
39. An official confession is a confession made by the accused, whether or not he has been charged, or might expect to be charged, with an offence at the time of making a statement
(a) when testifying as a legally compellable witness in the course of any judicial or other official proceeding or inquiry, civil or military, other than his own trial for the offence in question; or
(b) in the course of giving information pursuant to regulations or orders issued by the Chief of the Defence Staff under QR&O 1.23, or in response to an order to him by a superior officer to give information required for any proper military purpose
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(b), a statement made by the accused in the course of giving information in respect of an accident that has occurred outside Canada involving a motor vehicle under the care, charge or control of the accused is not an official confession for the purpose of these Rules to the extent that the accused, if the accident had occurred in Canada, would have been required by subsection 233(2) of the Criminal Code to make the statement.
Admissibility of Official Confession
40. (1) Subject to subsection (2), an official confession by the accused shall not be admissible or used in his trial for an offence in respect of which it is a confession.
(2) When the charge involves perjury, giving false or contradictory evidence, or making a false or contradictory statement, and is based upon a previous statement of the accused purporting at least in part to be an official confession, the prosecutor may introduce this previous statement in evidence.
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