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Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Full Document:  

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

PART XXProcedure in Jury Trials and General Provisions (continued)

Amendment (continued)

 [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 124]

Inspection and Copies of Documents

Marginal note:Right of accused

 An accused is entitled, after he has been ordered to stand trial or at his trial,

  • (a) to inspect without charge the indictment, his own statement, the evidence and the exhibits, if any; and

  • (b) to receive, on payment of a reasonable fee determined in accordance with a tariff of fees fixed or approved by the Attorney General of the province, a copy

    • (i) of the evidence,

    • (ii) of his own statement, if any, and

    • (iii) of the indictment;

    but the trial shall not be postponed to enable the accused to secure copies unless the court is satisfied that the failure of the accused to secure them before the trial is not attributable to lack of diligence on the part of the accused.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 603
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 101(E)

 [Repealed, 1997, c. 18, s. 69]

Marginal note:Release of exhibits for testing

  •  (1) A judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a court of criminal jurisdiction may, on summary application on behalf of the accused or the prosecutor, after three days notice to the accused or prosecutor, as the case may be, order the release of any exhibit for the purpose of a scientific or other test or examination, subject to such terms as appear to be necessary or desirable to ensure the safeguarding of the exhibit and its preservation for use at the trial.

  • Marginal note:Disobeying orders

    (2) Every one who fails to comply with the terms of an order made under subsection (1) is guilty of contempt of court and may be dealt with summarily by the judge or provincial court judge who made the order or before whom the trial of the accused takes place.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 605
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203

Pleas

Marginal note:Pleas permitted

  •  (1) An accused who is called on to plead may plead guilty or not guilty, or the special pleas authorized by this Part and no others.

  • Marginal note:Conditions for accepting guilty plea

    (1.1) A court may accept a plea of guilty only if it is satisfied that

    • (a) the accused is making the plea voluntarily;

    • (b) the accused understands

      • (i) that the plea is an admission of the essential elements of the offence,

      • (ii) the nature and consequences of the plea, and

      • (iii) that the court is not bound by any agreement made between the accused and the prosecutor; and

    • (c) the facts support the charge.

  • Marginal note:Validity of plea

    (1.2) The failure of the court to fully inquire whether the conditions set out in subsection (1.1) are met does not affect the validity of the plea.

  • Marginal note:Refusal to plead

    (2) Where an accused refuses to plead or does not answer directly, the court shall order the clerk of the court to enter a plea of not guilty.

  • Marginal note:Allowing time

    (3) An accused is not entitled as of right to have his trial postponed but the court may, if it considers that the accused should be allowed further time to plead, move to quash or prepare for his defence or for any other reason, adjourn the trial to a later time in the session or sittings of the court, or to the next of any subsequent session or sittings of the court, on such terms as the court considers proper.

  • Marginal note:Included or other offence

    (4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, where an accused or defendant pleads not guilty of the offence charged but guilty of any other offence arising out of the same transaction, whether or not it is an included offence, the court may, with the consent of the prosecutor, accept that plea of guilty and, if the plea is accepted, the court shall find the accused or defendant not guilty of the offence charged and find him guilty of the offence in respect of which the plea of guilty was accepted and enter those findings in the record of the court.

  • Marginal note:Inquiry of court  —  murder and serious personal injury offences

    (4.1) If the accused is charged with a serious personal injury offence, as that expression is defined in section 752, or with the offence of murder, and the accused and the prosecutor have entered into an agreement under which the accused will enter a plea of guilty of the offence charged  —  or a plea of not guilty of the offence charged but guilty of any other offence arising out of the same transaction, whether or not it is an included offence  —  the court shall, after accepting the plea of guilty, inquire of the prosecutor if reasonable steps were taken to inform the victims of the agreement.

  • Marginal note:Inquiry of court  —  certain indictable offences

    (4.2) If the accused is charged with an offence, as defined in section 2 of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights, that is an indictable offence for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more, and that is not an offence referred to in subsection (4.1), and the accused and the prosecutor have entered into an agreement referred to in subsection (4.1), the court shall, after accepting the plea of guilty, inquire of the prosecutor whether any of the victims had advised the prosecutor of their desire to be informed if such an agreement were entered into, and, if so, whether reasonable steps were taken to inform that victim of the agreement.

  • Marginal note:Duty to inform

    (4.3) If subsection (4.1) or (4.2) applies, and any victim was not informed of the agreement before the plea of guilty was accepted, the prosecutor shall, as soon as feasible, take reasonable steps to inform the victim of the agreement and the acceptance of the plea.

  • Marginal note:Validity of plea

    (4.4) Neither the failure of the court to inquire of the prosecutor, nor the failure of the prosecutor to take reasonable steps to inform the victims of the agreement, affects the validity of the plea.

  • Marginal note:Video links

    (5) For greater certainty, subsections 650(1.1) and (1.2) apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, to pleas under this section if the accused has agreed to use a means referred to in those subsections.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 606
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 125
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 49
  • 2015, c. 13, s. 21
  • 2019, c. 25, s. 268

Marginal note:Special pleas

  •  (1) An accused may plead the special pleas of

  • Marginal note:In case of libel

    (2) An accused who is charged with defamatory libel may plead in accordance with sections 611 and 612.

  • Marginal note:Disposal

    (3) The pleas of autrefois acquit, autrefois convict, pardon and an expungement order under the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act shall be disposed of by the judge without a jury before the accused is called on to plead further.

  • Marginal note:Pleading over

    (4) When the pleas referred to in subsection (3) are disposed of against the accused, he may plead guilty or not guilty.

  • Marginal note:Statement sufficient

    (5) Where an accused pleads autrefois acquit or autrefois convict, it is sufficient if he

    • (a) states that he has been lawfully acquitted, convicted or discharged under subsection 730(1), as the case may be, of the offence charged in the count to which the plea relates; and

    • (b) indicates the time and place of the acquittal, conviction or discharge under subsection 730(1).

  • Marginal note:Exception — foreign trials in absentia

    (6) A person who is alleged to have committed an act or omission outside Canada that is an offence in Canada by virtue of any of subsections 7(2) to (3.1) or (3.7), or an offence under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, and in respect of which the person has been tried and convicted outside Canada, may not plead autrefois convict with respect to a count that charges that offence if

    • (a) at the trial outside Canada the person was not present and was not represented by counsel acting under the person’s instructions, and

    • (b) the person was not punished in accordance with the sentence imposed on conviction in respect of the act or omission,

    notwithstanding that the person is deemed by virtue of subsection 7(6), or subsection 12(1) of the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, as the case may be, to have been tried and convicted in Canada in respect of the act or omission.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 607
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 126, c. 30 (3rd Supp.), s. 2, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F)
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 60(F)
  • 1995, c. 22, s. 10
  • 2000, c. 24, s. 45
  • 2013, c. 13, s. 9
  • 2018, c. 11, s. 29

Marginal note:Evidence of identity of charges

 Where an issue on a plea of autrefois acquit or autrefois convict is tried, the evidence and adjudication and the notes of the judge and official stenographer on the former trial and the record transmitted to the court pursuant to section 551 on the charge that is pending before that court are admissible in evidence to prove or to disprove the identity of the charges.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 536

Marginal note:What determines identity

  •  (1) Where an issue on a plea of autrefois acquit or autrefois convict to a count is tried and it appears

    • (a) that the matter on which the accused was given in charge on the former trial is the same in whole or in part as that on which it is proposed to give him in charge, and

    • (b) that on the former trial, if all proper amendments had been made that might then have been made, he might have been convicted of all the offences of which he may be convicted on the count to which the plea of autrefois acquit or autrefois convict is pleaded,

    the judge shall give judgment discharging the accused in respect of that count.

  • Marginal note:Allowance of special plea in part

    (2) The following provisions apply where an issue on a plea of autrefois acquit or autrefois convict is tried:

    • (a) where it appears that the accused might on the former trial have been convicted of an offence of which he may be convicted on the count in issue, the judge shall direct that the accused shall not be found guilty of any offence of which he might have been convicted on the former trial; and

    • (b) where it appears that the accused may be convicted on the count in issue of an offence of which he could not have been convicted on the former trial, the accused shall plead guilty or not guilty with respect to that offence.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 537

Marginal note:Circumstances of aggravation

  •  (1) Where an indictment charges substantially the same offence as that charged in an indictment on which an accused was previously convicted or acquitted, but adds a statement of intention or circumstances of aggravation tending, if proved, to increase the punishment, the previous conviction or acquittal bars the subsequent indictment.

  • Marginal note:Effect of previous charge of murder or manslaughter

    (2) A conviction or an acquittal on an indictment for murder bars a subsequent indictment for the same homicide charging it as manslaughter or infanticide, and a conviction or acquittal on an indictment for manslaughter or infanticide bars a subsequent indictment for the same homicide charging it as murder.

  • Marginal note:Previous charges of first degree murder

    (3) A conviction or an acquittal on an indictment for first degree murder bars a subsequent indictment for the same homicide charging it as second degree murder, and a conviction or acquittal on an indictment for second degree murder bars a subsequent indictment for the same homicide charging it as first degree murder.

  • Marginal note:Effect of previous charge of infanticide or manslaughter

    (4) A conviction or an acquittal on an indictment for infanticide bars a subsequent indictment for the same homicide charging it as manslaughter, and a conviction or acquittal on an indictment for manslaughter bars a subsequent indictment for the same homicide charging it as infanticide.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 538
  • 1973-74, c. 38, s. 5
  • 1974-75-76, c. 105, s. 9

Marginal note:Libel, plea of justification

  •  (1) An accused who is charged with publishing a defamatory libel may plead that the defamatory matter published by him was true, and that it was for the public benefit that the matter should have been published in the manner in which and at the time when it was published.

  • Marginal note:Where more than one sense alleged

    (2) A plea that is made under subsection (1) may justify the defamatory matter in any sense in which it is specified in the count, or in the sense that the defamatory matter bears without being specified, or separate pleas justifying the defamatory matter in each sense may be pleaded separately to each count as if two libels had been charged in separate counts.

  • Marginal note:Plea in writing

    (3) A plea that is made under subsection (1) shall be in writing and shall set out the particular facts by reason of which it is alleged to have been for the public good that the matter should have been published.

  • Marginal note:Reply

    (4) The prosecutor may in his reply deny generally the truth of a plea that is made under this section.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 539

Marginal note:Plea of justification necessary

  •  (1) The truth of the matters charged in an alleged libel shall not be inquired into in the absence of a plea of justification under section 611 unless the accused is charged with publishing the libel knowing it to be false, in which case evidence of the truth may be given to negative the allegation that the accused knew that the libel was false.

  • Marginal note:Not guilty, in addition

    (2) The accused may, in addition to a plea that is made under section 611, plead not guilty and the pleas shall be inquired into together.

  • Marginal note:Effect of plea on punishment

    (3) Where a plea of justification is pleaded and the accused is convicted, the court may, in pronouncing sentence, consider whether the guilt of the accused is aggravated or mitigated by the plea.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 540

Marginal note:Plea of not guilty

 Any ground of defence for which a special plea is not provided by this Act may be relied on under the plea of not guilty.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 541
 
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