Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)
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Act current to 2023-03-20 and last amended on 2023-01-16. Previous Versions
PART XXProcedure in Jury Trials and General Provisions (continued)
Special Provisions respecting Counts (continued)
Marginal note:Sufficiency of count charging perjury, etc.
585 No count that charges
(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
586 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
Marginal note:What may be ordered
587 (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.
(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
588 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
589 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
Marginal note:Offences may be charged in the alternative
590 (1) A count is not objectionable by reason only that
(a) it charges in the alternative several different matters, acts or omissions that are stated in the alternative in an enactment that describes as an indictable offence the matters, acts or omissions charged in the count; or
(b) it is double or multifarious.
Marginal note:Application to amend or divide counts
(2) An accused may at any stage of his trial apply to the court to amend or to divide a count that
(a) charges in the alternative different matters, acts or omissions that are stated in the alternative in the enactment that describes the offence or declares that the matters, acts or omissions charged are an indictable offence, or
(b) is double or multifarious,
on the ground that, as framed, it embarrasses him in his defence.
(3) The court may, where it is satisfied that the ends of justice require it, order that a count be amended or divided into two or more counts, and thereupon a formal commencement may be inserted before each of the counts into which it is divided.
- R.S., c. C-34, s. 519
Marginal note:Joinder of counts
591 (1) Subject to section 589, any number of counts for any number of offences may be joined in the same indictment, but the counts shall be distinguished in the manner shown in Form 4.
Marginal note:Each count separate
(2) Where there is more than one count in an indictment, each count may be treated as a separate indictment.
Marginal note:Severance of accused and counts
(3) The court may, where it is satisfied that the interests of justice so require, order
(a) that the accused or defendant be tried separately on one or more of the counts; and
(b) where there is more than one accused or defendant, that one or more of them be tried separately on one or more of the counts.
Marginal note:Order for severance
(4) An order under subsection (3) may be made before or during the trial but, if the order is made during the trial, the jury shall be discharged from giving a verdict on the counts
(a) on which the trial does not proceed; or
(b) in respect of the accused or defendant who has been granted a separate trial.
Marginal note:Delayed enforcement
(4.1) The court may make an order under subsection (3) that takes effect either at a specified later date or on the occurrence of a specified event if, taking into account, among other considerations, the need to ensure consistent decisions, it is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so.
Marginal note:Decisions binding on parties
(4.2) Unless the court is satisfied that it would not be in the interests of justice, the decisions relating to the disclosure or admissibility of evidence or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that are made before any order issued under subsection (3) takes effect continue to bind the parties if the decisions are made — or could have been made — before the stage at which the evidence on the merits is presented.
Marginal note:Subsequent procedure
(5) The counts in respect of which a jury is discharged pursuant to paragraph (4)(a) may subsequently be proceeded on in all respects as if they were contained in a separate indictment.
(6) Where an order is made in respect of an accused or defendant under paragraph (3)(b), the accused or defendant may be tried separately on the counts in relation to which the order was made as if they were contained in a separate indictment.
- R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 591
- R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 119
- 2011, c. 16, s. 5
Joinder of Accused in Certain Cases
Marginal note:Accessories after the fact
592 Any one who is charged with being an accessory after the fact to any offence may be indicted, whether or not the principal or any other party to the offence has been indicted or convicted or is or is not amenable to justice.
- R.S., c. C-34, s. 521
Marginal note:Trial of persons jointly
593 (1) Any number of persons may be charged in the same indictment with an offence under section 354 or 355.4 or paragraph 356(1)(b), even though
(a) the property was had in possession at different times; or
(b) the person by whom the property was obtained
(i) is not indicted with them, or
(ii) is not in custody or is not amenable to justice.
Marginal note:Conviction of one or more
(2) Where, pursuant to subsection (1), two or more persons are charged in the same indictment with an offence referred to in that subsection, any one or more of those persons who separately committed the offence in respect of the property or any part of it may be convicted.
- R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 593
- 2010, c. 14, s. 11
594 to 596 [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 120]
Proceedings when Person Indicted is at Large
Marginal note:Bench warrant
597 (1) Where an indictment has been preferred against a person who is at large, and that person does not appear or remain in attendance for his trial, the court before which the accused should have appeared or remained in attendance may issue a warrant in Form 7 for his arrest.
(2) A warrant issued under subsection (1) may be executed anywhere in Canada.
Marginal note:Interim release
(3) If an accused is arrested under a warrant issued under subsection (1), a judge of the court that issued the warrant may make a release order referred to in section 515.
Marginal note:Discretion to postpone execution
(4) A judge who issues a warrant may specify in the warrant the period before which the warrant shall not be executed, to allow the accused to appear voluntarily before a judge having jurisdiction in the territorial division in which the warrant was issued.
Marginal note:Deemed execution of warrant
(5) Where the accused appears voluntarily for the offence in respect of which the accused is charged, the warrant is deemed to be executed.
- R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 597
- R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 121
- 1997, c. 18, s. 68
- 2019, c. 25, s. 266
Marginal note:Election deemed to be waived
598 (1) Notwithstanding anything in this Act, where a person to whom subsection 597(1) applies has elected or is deemed to have elected to be tried by a court composed of a judge and jury and, at the time he failed to appear or to remain in attendance for his trial, he had not re-elected to be tried by a court composed of a judge without a jury or a provincial court judge without a jury, he shall not be tried by a court composed of a judge and jury unless
(a) he establishes to the satisfaction of a judge of the court in which he is indicted that there was a legitimate excuse for his failure to appear or remain in attendance for his trial; or
(b) the Attorney General requires pursuant to section 568 or 569 that the accused be tried by a court composed of a judge and jury.
Marginal note:Election deemed to be waived
(2) An accused who, under subsection (1), may not be tried by a court composed of a judge and jury is deemed to have elected under section 536 or 536.1 to be tried without a jury by a judge of the court where the accused was indicted and section 561 or 561.1, as the case may be, does not apply in respect of the accused.
- R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 598
- R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), ss. 122, 185(F), 203(E)
- 1999, c. 3, s. 51
- 2002, c. 13, s. 48(E)
Change of Venue
Marginal note:Reasons for change of venue
599 (1) A court before which an accused is or may be indicted, at any term or sittings thereof, or a judge who may hold or sit in that court, may at any time before or after an indictment is found, on the application of the prosecutor or the accused, order the trial to be held in a territorial division in the same province other than that in which the offence would otherwise be tried if
(a) it appears expedient to the ends of justice, including
(i) to promote a fair and efficient trial, and
(ii) to ensure the safety and security of a victim or witness or to protect their interests and those of society; or
(b) a competent authority has directed that a jury is not to be summoned at the time appointed in a territorial division where the trial would otherwise by law be held.
(2) [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 16]
Marginal note:Conditions respecting expense
(3) The court or judge may, in an order made on an application by the prosecutor under subsection (1), prescribe conditions that he thinks proper with respect to the payment of additional expenses caused to the accused as a result of the change of venue.
Marginal note:Transmission of record
(4) Where an order is made under subsection (1), the officer who has custody of the indictment, if any, and the writings and exhibits relating to the prosecution, shall transmit them forthwith to the clerk of the court before which the trial is ordered to be held, and all proceedings in the case shall be held or, if previously commenced, shall be continued in that court.
(5) Where the writings and exhibits referred to in subsection (4) have not been returned to the court in which the trial was to be held at the time an order is made to change the place of trial, the person who obtains the order shall serve a true copy thereof on the person in whose custody they are and that person shall thereupon transmit them to the clerk of the court before which the trial is to be held.
- R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 599
- R.S., 1985, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 16
- 2019, c. 25, s. 267
Marginal note:Order is authority to remove prisoner
600 An order that is made under section 599 is sufficient warrant, justification and authority to all sheriffs, keepers of prisons and peace officers for the removal, disposal and reception of an accused in accordance with the terms of the order, and the sheriff may appoint and authorize any peace officer to convey the accused to a prison in the territorial division in which the trial is ordered to be held.
- R.S., c. C-34, s. 528
Marginal note:Amending defective indictment or count
601 (1) An objection to an indictment preferred under this Part or to a count in an indictment, for a defect apparent on its face, shall be taken by motion to quash the indictment or count before the accused enters a plea, and, after the accused has entered a plea, only by leave of the court before which the proceedings take place. The court before which an objection is taken under this section may, if it considers it necessary, order the indictment or count to be amended to cure the defect.
Marginal note:Amendment where variance
(2) Subject to this section, a court may, on the trial of an indictment, amend the indictment or a count therein or a particular that is furnished under section 587, to make the indictment, count or particular conform to the evidence, where there is a variance between the evidence and
(a) a count in the indictment as preferred; or
(b) a count in the indictment
(i) as amended, or
(ii) as it would have been if it had been amended in conformity with any particular that has been furnished pursuant to section 587.
Marginal note:Amending indictment
(3) Subject to this section, a court shall, at any stage of the proceedings, amend the indictment or a count therein as may be necessary where it appears
(a) that the indictment has been preferred under a particular Act of Parliament instead of another Act of Parliament;
(b) that the indictment or a count thereof
(i) fails to state or states defectively anything that is requisite to constitute the offence,
(ii) does not negative an exception that should be negatived,
(iii) is in any way defective in substance,
and the matters to be alleged in the proposed amendment are disclosed by the evidence taken on the preliminary inquiry or on the trial; or
(c) that the indictment or a count thereof is in any way defective in form.
Marginal note:Matters to be considered by the court
(4) The court shall, in considering whether or not an amendment should be made to the indictment or a count in it, consider
(a) the matters disclosed by the evidence taken on the preliminary inquiry;
(b) the evidence taken on the trial, if any;
(c) the circumstances of the case;
(d) whether the accused has been misled or prejudiced in his defence by any variance, error or omission mentioned in subsection (2) or (3); and
(e) whether, having regard to the merits of the case, the proposed amendment can be made without injustice being done.
Marginal note:Variance not material
(4.1) A variance between the indictment or a count therein and the evidence taken is not material with respect to
(a) the time when the offence is alleged to have been committed, if it is proved that the indictment was preferred within the prescribed period of limitation, if any; or
(b) the place where the subject-matter of the proceedings is alleged to have arisen, if it is proved that it arose within the territorial jurisdiction of the court.
Marginal note:Adjournment if accused prejudiced
(5) Where, in the opinion of the court, the accused has been misled or prejudiced in his defence by a variance, error or omission in an indictment or a count therein, the court may, if it is of the opinion that the misleading or prejudice may be removed by an adjournment, adjourn the proceedings to a specified day or sittings of the court and may make such an order with respect to the payment of costs resulting from the necessity for amendment as it considers desirable.
Marginal note:Question of law
(6) The question whether an order to amend an indictment or a count thereof should be granted or refused is a question of law.
Marginal note:Endorsing indictment
(7) An order to amend an indictment or a count therein shall be endorsed on the indictment as part of the record and the proceedings shall continue as if the indictment or count had been originally preferred as amended.
Marginal note:Mistakes not material
(8) A mistake in the heading of an indictment shall be corrected as soon as it is discovered but, whether corrected or not, is not material.
(9) The authority of a court to amend indictments does not authorize the court to add to the overt acts stated in an indictment for high treason or treason or for an offence against any provision in sections 50, 51 and 53.
Marginal note:Definition of court
(10) In this section, court means a court, judge, justice or provincial court judge acting in summary conviction proceedings or in proceedings on indictment.
(11) This section applies to all proceedings, including preliminary inquiries, with such modifications as the circumstances require.
- R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 601
- R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 123
- 1999, c. 5, s. 23(E)
- 2011, c. 16, s. 6
- 2018, c. 29, s. 65
- Date modified: