Canadian Criminal Procedure and Practice/Trials/Accused at Trial

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General Principles[edit]

Under s. 650(1), the accused must be present for the whole of their trial.

Under s.650(1.1) and (1.2), the court may order that the accused appear by way of video link where all the parties agree. This can include parts of the trial where evidence is not being taken so long as there is a means to have defence counsel consult with their client.

The court may exclude the accused from their trial under s.650(2) for three situations: 1) where the accused "misconducts himself by interrupting the proceedings" so much so that it would be infeasible to continue; 2) where the court finds it "proper"; or 3) where the accused's presence may have an adverse effect on the accused's mental health on a hearing for fitness.

Right to Face Accusers[edit]

The "right to face one's accusers is not in this day and age to be taken in the literal sense...it is simply the right of an accused to be present in court, to hear the case against him and to make answer and defence to it."[1]

  1. R. v. R.(M.E.), (1989), 49 C.C.C. (3d) 475 (N.S.C.A.)

See Also[edit]