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Victims Bill of Rights Act (S.C. 2015, c. 13)

Assented to 2015-04-23

PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW

Marginal note:Review of Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

 Five years after section 2 comes into force, a committee of Parliament is to be designated or established for the purpose of reviewing the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights enacted by that section.

R.S., c. C-46CRIMINAL CODE

Amendments to the Act

Marginal note:1999, c. 25, s. 1

 The definition “victim” in section 2 of the Criminal Code is replaced by the following:

“victim”

« victime »

“victim” means a person against whom an offence has been committed, or is alleged to have been committed, who has suffered, or is alleged to have suffered, physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss as the result of the commission or alleged commission of the offence and includes, for the purposes of sections 672.5, 722 and 745.63, a person who has suffered physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss as the result of the commission of an offence against any other person.

 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 2.1:

Marginal note:Acting on victim’s behalf
  • 2.2 (1) For the purposes of sections 606, 672.5, 722, 737.1 and 745.63, any of the following individuals may act on the victim’s behalf if the victim is dead or incapable of acting on their own behalf:

    • (a) the victim’s spouse, or if the victim is dead, their spouse at the time of death;

    • (b) the victim’s common-law partner, or if the victim is dead, their common-law partner at the time of death;

    • (c) a relative or dependant of the victim;

    • (d) an individual who has in law or fact custody, or is responsible for the care or support, of the victim; and

    • (e) an individual who has in law or fact custody, or is responsible for the care or support, of a dependant of the victim.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) An individual is not entitled to act on a victim’s behalf if the individual is an accused in relation to the offence or alleged offence that resulted in the victim suffering harm or loss or is an individual who is found guilty of that offence or who is found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder or unfit to stand trial in respect of that offence.

Marginal note:1997, c. 30, s. 1
  •  (1) The portion of subsection 278.2(1) of the English version of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

    Marginal note:Production of record to accused
    • 278.2 (1) Except in accordance with sections 278.3 to 278.91, no record relating to a complainant or a witness shall be produced to an accused in any proceedings in respect of any of the following offences or in any proceedings in respect of two or more offences at least one of which is any of the following offences:

  • Marginal note:1997, c. 30, s. 1

    (2) Subsection 278.2(1) of the Act is amended by adding “or” at the end of paragraph (a) and by replacing the portion after paragraph (a) with the following:

    • (b) any offence under this Act, as it read at any time before the day on which this paragraph comes into force, if the conduct alleged involves a violation of the complainant’s sexual integrity and that conduct would be an offence referred to in paragraph (a) if it occurred on or after that day.

Marginal note:1997, c. 30, s. 1

 Subsection 278.3(5) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • Marginal note:Service of application and subpoena

    (5) The accused shall serve the application on the prosecutor, on the person who has possession or control of the record, on the complainant or witness, as the case may be, and on any other person to whom, to the knowledge of the accused, the record relates, at least 14 days before the hearing referred to in subsection 278.4(1) or any shorter interval that the judge may allow in the interests of justice. The accused shall also serve a subpoena issued under Part XXII in Form 16.1 on the person who has possession or control of the record at the same time as the application is served.

 Section 278.4 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2):

  • Marginal note:Right to counsel

    (2.1) The judge shall, as soon as feasible, inform any person referred to in subsection (2) who participates in the hearing of their right to be represented by counsel.

Marginal note:1997, c. 30, s. 1

 The portion of subsection 278.5(2) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

  • Marginal note:Factors to be considered

    (2) In determining whether to order the production of the record or part of the record for review pursuant to subsection (1), the judge shall consider the salutary and deleterious effects of the determination on the accused’s right to make a full answer and defence and on the right to privacy, personal security and equality of the complainant or witness, as the case may be, and of any other person to whom the record relates. In particular, the judge shall take the following factors into account:

Marginal note:1997, c. 30, s. 1

 Subsection 278.6(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • Marginal note:Provisions re hearing

    (3) Subsections 278.4(2) to (3) apply in the case of a hearing under subsection (2).

Marginal note:1997, c. 30, s. 1
  •  (1) Subsection 278.7(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Factors to be considered

      (2) In determining whether to order the production of the record or part of the record to the accused, the judge shall consider the salutary and deleterious effects of the determination on the accused’s right to make a full answer and defence and on the right to privacy, personal security and equality of the complainant or witness, as the case may be, and of any other person to whom the record relates and, in particular, shall take the factors specified in paragraphs 278.5(2)(a) to (h) into account.

  • Marginal note:1997, c. 30, s. 1

    (2) The portion of subsection 278.7(3) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Conditions on production

      (3) If the judge orders the production of the record or part of the record to the accused, the judge may impose conditions on the production to protect the interests of justice and, to the greatest extent possible, the privacy, personal security and equality interests of the complainant or witness, as the case may be, and of any other person to whom the record relates, including, for example, the following conditions:

Marginal note:2011, c. 6, s. 4

 Sections 380.3 and 380.4 of the Act are repealed.

Marginal note:2001, c. 32, s. 11
  •  (1) The portion of subsection 423.1(1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

    Marginal note:Intimidation of a justice system participant or a journalist
    • 423.1 (1) No person shall, without lawful authority, engage in any conduct with the intent to provoke a state of fear in

  • Marginal note:2001, c. 32, s. 11

    (2) Subsection 423.1(2) of the Act is repealed.

Marginal note:2005, c. 32, s. 15

 Subsection 486(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • Marginal note:Factors to be considered

    (2) In determining whether the order is in the interest of the proper administration of justice, the judge or justice shall consider

    • (a) society’s interest in encouraging the reporting of offences and the participation of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice process;

    • (b) the safeguarding of the interests of witnesses under the age of 18 years in all proceedings;

    • (c) the ability of the witness to give a full and candid account of the acts complained of if the order were not made;

    • (d) whether the witness needs the order for their security or to protect them from intimidation or retaliation;

    • (e) the protection of justice system participants who are involved in the proceedings;

    • (f) whether effective alternatives to the making of the proposed order are available in the circumstances;

    • (g) the salutary and deleterious effects of the proposed order; and

    • (h) any other factor that the judge or justice considers relevant.

Marginal note:2005, c. 32, s. 15

 Subsections 486.1(1) to (3) of the Act are replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Support person — witnesses under 18 or who have a disability
  • 486.1 (1) In any proceedings against an accused, the judge or justice shall, on application of the prosecutor in respect of a witness who is under the age of 18 years or who has a mental or physical disability, or on application of such a witness, order that a support person of the witness’ choice be permitted to be present and to be close to the witness while the witness testifies, unless the judge or justice is of the opinion that the order would interfere with the proper administration of justice.

  • Marginal note:Other witnesses

    (2) In any proceedings against an accused, the judge or justice may, on application of the prosecutor in respect of a witness, or on application of a witness, order that a support person of the witness’ choice be permitted to be present and to be close to the witness while the witness testifies if the judge or justice is of the opinion that the order would facilitate the giving of a full and candid account by the witness of the acts complained of or would otherwise be in the interest of the proper administration of justice.

  • Marginal note:Application

    (2.1) An application referred to in subsection (1) or (2) may be made, during the proceedings, to the presiding judge or justice or, before the proceedings begin, to the judge or justice who will preside at the proceedings or, if that judge or justice has not been determined, to any judge or justice having jurisdiction in the judicial district where the proceedings will take place.

  • Marginal note:Factors to be considered

    (3) In determining whether to make an order under subsection (2), the judge or justice shall consider

    • (a) the age of the witness;

    • (b) the witness’ mental or physical disabilities, if any;

    • (c) the nature of the offence;

    • (d) the nature of any relationship between the witness and the accused;

    • (e) whether the witness needs the order for their security or to protect them from intimidation or retaliation;

    • (f) society’s interest in encouraging the reporting of offences and the participation of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice process; and

    • (g) any other factor that the judge or justice considers relevant.

 
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