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Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

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Act current to 2019-06-20 and last amended on 2019-06-17. Previous Versions

PART XXProcedure in Jury Trials and General Provisions (continued)

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

Marginal note:Sufficiency of count charging perjury, etc.

 No count that charges

  • (a) perjury,

  • (b) the making of a false oath or a false statement,

  • (c) fabricating evidence, or

  • (d) procuring the commission of an offence mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c),

is insufficient by reason only that it does not state the nature of the authority of the tribunal before which the oath or statement was taken or made, or the subject of the inquiry, or the words used or the evidence fabricated, or that it does not expressly negative the truth of the words used.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 585
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 60(F)

Marginal note:Sufficiency of count relating to fraud

 No count that alleges false pretences, fraud or any attempt or conspiracy by fraudulent means is insufficient by reason only that it does not set out in detail the nature of the false pretence, fraud or fraudulent means.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 515

Particulars

Marginal note:What may be ordered

  •  (1) A court may, where it is satisfied that it is necessary for a fair trial, order the prosecutor to furnish particulars and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, may order the prosecutor to furnish particulars

    • (a) of what is relied on in support of a charge of perjury, the making of a false oath or a false statement, fabricating evidence or counselling the commission of any of those offences;

    • (b) of any false pretence or fraud that is alleged;

    • (c) of any alleged attempt or conspiracy by fraudulent means;

    • (d) setting out the passages in a book, pamphlet, newspaper or other printing or writing that are relied on in support of a charge of selling or exhibiting an obscene book, pamphlet, newspaper, printing or writing;

    • (e) further describing any writing or words that are the subject of a charge;

    • (f) further describing the means by which an offence is alleged to have been committed; or

    • (g) further describing a person, place or thing referred to in an indictment.

  • Marginal note:Regard to evidence

    (2) For the purpose of determining whether or not a particular is required, the court may give consideration to any evidence that has been taken.

  • Marginal note:Particular

    (3) Where a particular is delivered pursuant to this section,

    • (a) a copy shall be given without charge to the accused or his counsel;

    • (b) the particular shall be entered in the record; and

    • (c) the trial shall proceed in all respects as if the indictment had been amended to conform with the particular.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 587
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 7

Ownership of Property

Marginal note:Ownership

 The real and personal property of which a person has, by law, the management, control or custody shall, for the purposes of an indictment or proceeding against any other person for an offence committed on or in respect of the property, be deemed to be the property of the person who has the management, control or custody of it.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 517

Joinder or Severance of Counts

Marginal note:Count for murder

 No count that charges an indictable offence other than murder shall be joined in an indictment to a count that charges murder unless

  • (a) the count that charges the offence other than murder arises out of the same transaction as a count that charges murder; or

  • (b) the accused signifies consent to the joinder of the counts.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 589
  • 1991, c. 4, s. 2
 
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