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Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

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Act current to 2021-11-17 and last amended on 2021-08-27. Previous Versions

PART XIX.1Nunavut Court of Justice (continued)

Marginal note:Habeas corpus

  •  (1) Habeas corpus proceedings may be brought before a judge of the Court of Appeal of Nunavut in respect of an order made or warrant issued by a judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice, except where

    • (a) the order or warrant is of a kind that could only be made or issued in a province or a territory other than Nunavut by a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552; or

    • (b) another statutory right of review or appeal is available.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Despite subsection (1), habeas corpus proceedings may be brought before a judge of the Court of Appeal of Nunavut with respect to an order or warrant of a judge of the Nunavut Court of Justice if the proceedings are brought to challenge the constitutionality of a person’s detention or confinement.

  • Marginal note:Provisions apply

    (3) Subsections 784(2) to (6) apply in respect of any proceedings brought under subsection (1) or (2).

  • 1999, c. 3, s. 50

PART XXProcedure in Jury Trials and General Provisions

Preferring Indictment

Marginal note:Prosecutor may prefer indictment

  •  (1) Subject to subsection (3), the prosecutor may, whether the charges were included in one information or not, prefer an indictment against any person who has been ordered to stand trial in respect of

    • (a) any charge on which that person was ordered to stand trial; or

    • (b) any charge founded on the facts disclosed by the evidence taken on the preliminary inquiry, in addition to or in substitution for any charge on which that person was ordered to stand trial.

  • Marginal note:Preferring indictment when no preliminary inquiry

    (1.1) If a person has not requested a preliminary inquiry under subsection 536(4) or 536.1(3) into the charge or was not entitled to make such a request, the prosecutor may, subject to subsection (3), prefer an indictment against a person in respect of a charge set out in an information or informations, or any included charge, at any time after the person has made an election, re-election or deemed election on the information or informations.

  • Marginal note:Preferring single indictment

    (1.2) If indictments may be preferred under both subsections (1) and (1.1), the prosecutor may prefer a single indictment in respect of one or more charges referred to in subsection (1) combined with one or more charges or included charges referred to in subsection (1.1).

  • Marginal note:Consent to inclusion of other charges

    (2) An indictment preferred under any of subsections (1) to (1.2) may, if the accused consents, include a charge that is not referred to in those subsections, and the offence charged may be dealt with, tried and determined and punished in all respects as if it were an offence in respect of which the accused had been ordered to stand trial. However, if the offence was committed wholly in a province other than that in which the accused is before the court, subsection 478(3) applies.

  • Marginal note:Private prosecutor requires consent

    (3) In a prosecution conducted by a prosecutor other than the Attorney General and in which the Attorney General does not intervene, an indictment may not be preferred under any of subsections (1) to (1.2) before a court without the written order of a judge of that court.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 574
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 113
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 45
  • 2019, c. 25, s. 263

 [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 113]

Marginal note:Indictment

  •  (1) Except as provided in this Act, no indictment shall be preferred.

  • Marginal note:Criminal information and bill of indictment

    (2) No criminal information shall be laid or granted and no bill of indictment shall be preferred before a grand jury.

  • Marginal note:Coroner’s inquisition

    (3) No person shall be tried on a coroner’s inquisition.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 576
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 114

Marginal note:Direct indictments

 Despite section 574, an indictment may be preferred even if the accused has not been given the opportunity to request a preliminary inquiry, a preliminary inquiry has been commenced but not concluded or a preliminary inquiry has been held and the accused has been discharged, if

  • (a) in the case of a prosecution conducted by the Attorney General or one in which the Attorney General intervenes, the personal consent in writing of the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General is filed in court; or

  • (b) in any other case, a judge of the court so orders.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 577
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 115, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F)
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 46

Marginal note:Summons or warrant

  •  (1) Where notice of the recommencement of proceedings has been given pursuant to subsection 579(2) or an indictment has been filed with the court before which the proceedings are to commence or recommence, the court, if it considers it necessary, may issue

    • (a) a summons addressed to, or

    • (b) a warrant for the arrest of,

    the accused or defendant, as the case may be, to compel him to attend before the court to answer the charge described in the indictment.

  • Marginal note:Part XVI to apply

    (2) The provisions of Part XVI apply with such modifications as the circumstances require where a summons or warrant is issued under subsection (1).

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 578
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 116

Marginal note:Attorney General may direct stay

  •  (1) The Attorney General or counsel instructed by the Attorney General for that purpose may, at any time after any proceedings in relation to an accused or a defendant are commenced and before judgment, direct the clerk or other proper officer of the court to make an entry on the record that the proceedings are stayed by the Attorney General’s or counsel’s direction, as the case may be, and the entry shall then be made, at which time the proceedings shall be stayed accordingly and any undertaking or release order relating to the proceedings is vacated.

  • Marginal note:Recommencement of proceedings

    (2) Proceedings stayed in accordance with subsection (1) may be recommenced, without laying a new information or preferring a new indictment, as the case may be, by the Attorney General or counsel instructed by him for that purpose giving notice of the recommencement to the clerk of the court in which the stay of the proceedings was entered, but where no such notice is given within one year after the entry of the stay of proceedings, or before the expiration of the time within which the proceedings could have been commenced, whichever is the earlier, the proceedings shall be deemed never to have been commenced.

Marginal note:Instruction to stay

  •  (1) The Attorney General or counsel instructed by him or her for that purpose shall, at any time after proceedings in relation to an act or omission of a preclearance officer, as defined in section 5 of the Preclearance Act, 2016, are commenced and before judgment, direct the clerk or other proper officer of the court to make an entry on the record that the proceedings are stayed by direction of the Attorney General if the Government of the United States has provided notice of the exercise of primary criminal jurisdiction under paragraph 14 of Article X of the Agreement.

  • Marginal note:Stay

    (2) The clerk or other officer of the court shall make the entry immediately after being so directed, and on the entry being made the proceedings are stayed and any recognizance relating to the proceedings is vacated.

  • Marginal note:Recommencement

    (3) The proceedings may be recommenced without laying a new information or preferring a new indictment, if the Attorney General or counsel instructed by him or her gives notice to the clerk or other officer of the court that

    • (a) the Government of the United States has provided notice of waiver under paragraph 15 of Article X of the Agreement; or

    • (b) the Government of the United States has declined, or is unable, to prosecute the accused and the accused has returned to Canada.

  • Marginal note:Proceedings deemed never commenced

    (4) However, if the Attorney General or counsel does not give notice under subsection (3) on or before the first anniversary of the day on which the stay of proceedings was entered, the proceedings are deemed never to have been commenced.

  • Marginal note:Definition of Agreement

    (5) In this section, Agreement means the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America, done at Washington on March 16, 2015.

Marginal note:When Attorney General does not stay proceedings

 If the Attorney General intervenes in proceedings and does not stay them under section 579, he or she may, without conducting the proceedings, call witnesses, examine and cross-examine witnesses, present evidence and make submissions.

  • 2002, c. 13, s. 47

Marginal note:Intervention by Attorney General of Canada or Director of Public Prosecutions

  •  (1) The Attorney General of Canada or the Director of Public Prosecutions appointed under subsection 3(1) of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act, or counsel instructed by him or her for that purpose, may intervene in proceedings in the following circumstances:

    • (a) the proceedings are in respect of an offence for which he or she has the power to commence or to conduct a proceeding;

    • (b) the proceedings have not been instituted by an Attorney General;

    • (c) judgment has not been rendered; and

    • (d) the Attorney General of the province in which the proceedings are taken has not intervened.

  • Marginal note:Sections 579 and 579.01 to apply

    (2) Sections 579 and 579.01 apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, to proceedings in which the Attorney General of Canada or the Director of Public Prosecutions intervenes under this section.

Marginal note:Form of indictment

 An indictment is sufficient if it is on paper and is in Form 4.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 580
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 117

General Provisions respecting Counts

Marginal note:Substance of offence

  •  (1) Each count in an indictment shall in general apply to a single transaction and shall contain in substance a statement that the accused or defendant committed an offence therein specified.

  • Marginal note:Form of statement

    (2) The statement referred to in subsection (1) may be

    • (a) in popular language without technical averments or allegations of matters that are not essential to be proved;

    • (b) in the words of the enactment that describes the offence or declares the matters charged to be an indictable offence; or

    • (c) in words that are sufficient to give to the accused notice of the offence with which he is charged.

  • Marginal note:Details of circumstances

    (3) A count shall contain sufficient detail of the circumstances of the alleged offence to give to the accused reasonable information with respect to the act or omission to be proved against him and to identify the transaction referred to, but otherwise the absence or insufficiency of details does not vitiate the count.

  • Marginal note:Indictment for treason

    (4) If an accused is charged with an offence under section 47 or sections 50 to 53, every overt act that is to be relied on shall be stated in the indictment.

  • Marginal note:Reference to section

    (5) A count may refer to any section, subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the enactment that creates the offence charged, and for the purpose of determining whether a count is sufficient, consideration shall be given to any such reference.

  • Marginal note:General provisions not restricted

    (6) Nothing in this Part relating to matters that do not render a count insufficient shall be deemed to restrict or limit the application of this section.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 581
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 118
  • 2018, c. 29, s. 63

Marginal note:High treason and first degree murder

 No person shall be convicted for the offence of high treason or first degree murder unless in the indictment charging the offence he is specifically charged with that offence.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 511
  • 1973-74, c. 38, s. 4
  • 1974-75-76, c. 105, s. 6

Marginal note:Certain omissions not grounds for objection

 No count in an indictment is insufficient by reason of the absence of details where, in the opinion of the court, the count otherwise fulfils the requirements of section 581 and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, no count in an indictment is insufficient by reason only that

  • (a) it does not name the person injured or intended or attempted to be injured;

  • (b) it does not name the person who owns or has a special property or interest in property mentioned in the count;

  • (c) it charges an intent to defraud without naming or describing the person whom it was intended to defraud;

  • (d) it does not set out any writing that is the subject of the charge;

  • (e) it does not set out the words used where words that are alleged to have been used are the subject of the charge;

  • (f) it does not specify the means by which the alleged offence was committed;

  • (g) it does not name or describe with precision any person, place or thing; or

  • (h) it does not, where the consent of a person, official or authority is required before proceedings may be instituted for an offence, state that the consent has been obtained.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 512

Special Provisions respecting Counts

Marginal note:Sufficiency of count charging libel

  •  (1) No count for publishing a seditious or defamatory libel, or for selling or exhibiting an obscene book, pamphlet, newspaper or other written matter, is insufficient by reason only that it does not set out the words that are alleged to be libellous or the writing that is alleged to be obscene.

  • Marginal note:Specifying sense

    (2) A count for publishing a libel may charge that the published matter was written in a sense that by innuendo made the publication thereof criminal, and may specify that sense without any introductory assertion to show how the matter was written in that sense.

  • Marginal note:Proof

    (3) It is sufficient, on the trial of a count for publishing a libel, to prove that the matter published was libellous, with or without innuendo.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 584
  • 2018, c. 29, s. 64
 
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