Vol. 145, No. 17 — August 17, 2011
SI/2011-62 August 17, 2011
FAIR AND EFFICIENT CRIMINAL TRIALS ACT
ARCHIVED — Order Fixing the Dates of Coming into Force of
Certain Sections of the Act
P.C. 2011-827 July 29, 2011
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, pursuant to section 17 of the Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act, chapter 16 of the Statutes of Canada, 2011, hereby fixes
- (a) August 15, 2011 as the day on which sections 1 to 6, subsections 7(2) and (4) and sections 10, 11 and 14 to 16 of that Act come into force; and
- (b) October 24, 2011 as the day on which subsections 7(1) and (3) and sections 8, 9, 12 and 13 of that Act come into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
The Fairand Efficient Criminal Trials Act (mega-trials) (the Act), formerly Bill C-2, received Royal Assent on June 26, 2011. It is now Chapter 16, Statutes of Canada (2011).
The Act provides tools to increase the effectiveness of mega-trial prosecutions. The new provisions relate to three main objectives: strengthening case management, reducing duplication of processes, and otherwise improving criminal procedure.
The provisions intended to strengthen case management allow for, among other things, the appointment of a case management judge empowered to impose deadlines on the parties, adjudicate preliminary issues, hear guilty pleas and hand down sentences. Furthermore, some provisions aim to streamline proceedings by empowering the case management judge to order the parties to attend a conference and assist them in narrowing issues, making admissions and reaching agreements.
The provisions that aim at reducing duplication of processes allow for, inter alia, the joint hearing of preliminary issues in separate but related trials. Furthermore, the Act provides that rulings on issues relating to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the disclosure or admissibility of evidence are binding on the parties at any new trial ordered as a result of a declaration of mistrial or where a prosecution is severed by the court into separate trials.
The provisions intended to otherwise improve criminal procedure include measures to enhance the protection of juror identity, increase the maximum number of jurors hearing the evidence to 14 (subject to the jury being pared down to 12 jurors for deliberations), and correct a wording discrepancy between the French and English versions of section 536.3 of the Criminal Code.
The Order in Council fixes
- (a) August 15, 2011, as the day on which sections 1 to 6, subsections 7(2) and (4) and sections 10, 11 and 14 to 16 of that Act come into force; and
- (b) October 24, 2011, as the day on which subsections 7(1) and (3) and sections 8, 9, 12 and 13 of that Act come into force.