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Supreme Court Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. S-26)

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Act current to 2020-09-09 and last amended on 2019-12-18. Previous Versions

Evidence (continued)

Marginal note:No proof required of signature or seal of commissioner

 Every document purporting to have affixed, imprinted or subscribed thereon or thereto the signature of

  • (a) a commissioner appointed under this Act,

  • (b) a person authorized to take affidavits to be used in any of the superior courts of any province, or

  • (c) any one of the persons referred to in paragraphs 82(a) to (e), whose signature is certified in the manner therein provided,

in testimony of any oath, affidavit, declaration or solemn affirmation having been administered, taken, sworn, made or affirmed by or before that person, shall be admitted in evidence without proof of the signature or seal or official character of that person.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 88

Marginal note:Informality not an objection

 No informality in the heading or other formal requisites of any affidavit, declaration or solemn affirmation, made or taken before any person under any provision of this Act or any other Act, shall be an objection to its admission in evidence in the Court, if the court or judge before which or whom it is tendered thinks proper to admit it, and if it is actually sworn to, declared or affirmed by the person making it before any person duly authorized thereto and is admitted in evidence, no such informality shall be set up to defeat an indictment for perjury.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 89

Marginal note:Examination on interrogatories or by commission

  •  (1) If a party to any proceeding had or to be had in the Court is desirous of having therein the evidence of any person, whether a party or not or whether resident within or outside Canada, the Court or a judge, if in the opinion of the Court or judge it is, owing to the absence, age or infirmity or the distance of the residence of that person from the place of trial, the expense of taking the evidence otherwise, or for any other reason, convenient to do so, may, on the application of that party, order the examination of that person on oath, by interrogatories or otherwise, before the Registrar, any commissioner for taking affidavits in the Court or any other person or persons to be named in the order, or may order the issue of a commission under the seal of the Court for the examination.

  • Marginal note:Court may give directions

    (2) The Court or a judge may, by the order described in subsection (1) or any subsequent order, give all such directions concerning the time, place and manner of the examination, the attendance of the witnesses and the production of papers at the examination, and all matters connected therewith, as appears reasonable.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 90

Marginal note:Duty of persons taking such examination

 Every person authorized to take the examination of any witness pursuant to this Act shall take the examination on the oath of the witness, or on solemn affirmation, in any case in which solemn affirmation instead of oath is allowed by law.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 91

Marginal note:Further examination

 The Court or a judge may, if it is considered for the ends of justice expedient to do so, order the further examination, before either the Court or a judge, or other person, of any witness, and if the party on whose behalf the evidence is tendered neglects or refuses to obtain such further examination, the Court or judge, in its or his discretion, may decline to act on the evidence.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 92

Marginal note:Notice to adverse party

 Such notice of the time and place of examination as is prescribed in the order made under section 87 shall be given to the adverse party.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 93

Marginal note:Neglect or refusal to attend

  •  (1) Where an order is made for the examination of a witness and a copy of the order, together with a notice of the time and place of attendance, signed by the person or one of the persons to take the examination, has been duly served on the witness within Canada, and the witness has been tendered the legal fees for attendance and travel, the refusal or neglect of the witness to attend for examination or to answer any proper question put on examination, or to produce any paper that the witness has been notified to produce, shall be deemed a contempt of court and may be punished by the same process as other contempts of court.

  • Marginal note:Where no compulsion

    (2) In the course of the examination referred to in subsection (1), the witness shall not be compelled to produce any paper that he would not be compelled to produce or to answer any question that he would not be bound to answer in court.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 94

Marginal note:Effect of consent of parties to examination of witness

 Where the parties in any case pending in the Court consent in writing that a witness may be examined within or outside Canada by interrogatories or otherwise, the consent and the proceedings had under it are as valid in all respects as if an order had been made and the proceedings had under the order.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 95

Marginal note:Examinations taken in Canada

  •  (1) All examinations taken in Canada pursuant to this Act shall be returned to the Court.

  • Marginal note:Depositions to be used in evidence

    (2) The depositions taken in the course of an examination referred to in subsection (1), certified under the hands of the person or one of the persons taking them, may, without further proof, be used in evidence, saving all just exceptions.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 96

Marginal note:Examinations taken outside Canada

  •  (1) All examinations taken outside Canada pursuant to this Act shall be proved by affidavit of the due taking of the examinations, sworn before a commissioner or other person authorized under this Act or any other Act to take the affidavit, at the place where the examination has been taken, and shall be returned to the Court.

  • Marginal note:Depositions to be used in evidence

    (2) The depositions returned to the Court under subsection (1), together with the affidavit, and the order or commission, closed under the hand and seal of the person or one of the persons authorized to take the examination, may, without further proof, be used in evidence, saving all just exceptions.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 97

Marginal note:Reading of examination

 Where any examination has been returned, any party may give notice of the return, and no objection to the examination being read has effect unless taken within the time and in the manner prescribed by general order.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 98


Marginal note:Process of the Court

  •  (1) The process of the Court runs throughout Canada and shall be tested in the name of the Chief Justice or, in case of a vacancy in the office of Chief Justice, in the name of the senior puisne judge, and shall be directed to the sheriff of any county or other judicial division into which any province is divided.

  • Marginal note:Officers of the Court

    (2) The sheriffs of the counties or other judicial divisions of the provinces are ex officio officers of the Court and shall perform the duties and functions of sheriffs in connection with the Court.

  • Marginal note:Coroners

    (3) In any case where the sheriff is disqualified, the process shall be directed to any of the coroners of the county or district.

  • R.S., c. S-19, s. 99

Marginal note:Further powers of commissioners

 Every commissioner for administering oaths in the Supreme Court, who resides within Canada, may take and receive acknowledgments and any kind of recognizance in the Court.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-26, s. 95
  • 2019, c. 25, s. 391

Marginal note:Orders for payment of money

  •  (1) An order in the Court for payment of money, whether for costs or otherwise, may be enforced by such writs of execution as the Court prescribes.

  • Marginal note:No attachment for non-payment only

    (2) No attachment as for contempt shall issue in the Court for the non-payment of money only.

  • R.S., c. S-19, ss. 101, 102

Marginal note:Judges may make rules and orders

  •  (1) The judges, or any five of them, may make general rules and orders

    • (a) for regulating the procedure of and in the Court and the bringing of cases before it from courts appealed from or otherwise, and for the effectual execution and working of this Act and the attainment of the intention and objects thereof;

    • (b) for allowing appeals in forma pauperis by leave, notwithstanding the provisions of this Act or any other Act requiring the giving of security for costs, and for allowing a respondent leave to defend in forma pauperis;

    • (c) for empowering the Registrar to do any such thing and transact any such business as is specified in the rules or orders, and to exercise any authority and jurisdiction in respect of the rules or orders as may be done, transacted or exercised by a judge sitting in chambers by virtue of any statute or custom or by the practice of the Court;

    • (d) for fixing the fees and costs to be taxed and allowed to, and received and taken by, and the rights and duties of, the officers of the Court;

    • (e) for awarding and regulating costs in the Court in favour of and against the Crown, as well as the subject; and

    • (f) with respect to matters coming within the jurisdiction of the Court, with respect to references to the Court by the Governor in Council, and in particular with respect to investigations of questions of fact involved in any such reference.

  • Marginal note:Extent of rules and orders

    (2) The rules and orders may extend to any matter of procedure or otherwise not provided for by this Act, but for which it is found necessary to provide, in order to ensure the proper working of this Act and the better attainment of the objects thereof.

  • Marginal note:Force of rules and orders

    (3) All rules not inconsistent with the express provisions of this Act have force and effect as if herein enacted.

  • Marginal note:Copies to be laid before Parliament

    (4) Copies of all rules and orders made under this section shall be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days after the making thereof on which that House is sitting.

  • R.S., 1985, c. S-26, s. 97
  • R.S., 1985, c. 34 (3rd Supp.), s. 7
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