section 560(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section outlines the process for a judge to set a trial date and location when an accused person elects to be tried without a jury.

SECTION WORDING

560(1) If an accused elects, under section 536 or 536.1, to be tried by a judge without a jury, a judge having jurisdiction shall (a) on receiving a written notice from the sheriff or other person having custody of the accused stating that the accused is in custody and setting out the nature of the charge against him, or (b) on being notified by the clerk of the court that the accused is not in custody and of the nature of the charge against him, fix a time and place for the trial of the accused.

EXPLANATION

Section 560(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the procedures that are to be followed when an accused individual elects to be tried by a judge without a jury. This section describes the steps that must be taken by the judge, sheriff, or court clerk in order to schedule the trial of the accused. Under this section, if an accused individual elects to be tried by a judge without a jury, the judge with jurisdiction over the case must be notified by either the sheriff or another person who has custody of the accused. The notice must contain information about the nature of the charge against the accused and the fact that they are in custody. Alternatively, if the accused individual is not in custody, the court clerk must notify the judge of the charges against the accused and the fact that they are not in custody. Once the judge has been notified, they must then set a time and place for the trial of the accused. This ensures that all parties involved are aware of when and where the trial will take place, and allows for preparations to be made accordingly. Overall, section 560(1) is an important part of the Criminal Code of Canada as it ensures that the rights of accused individuals are protected and that they receive a fair trial. By outlining the necessary procedures for scheduling a trial, this section helps to ensure that justice is served in a timely and efficient manner.

COMMENTARY

Section 560(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out the procedure for a trial by judge alone when an accused elects to waive their right to a trial by a jury. The section outlines the responsibilities of the judge and other court officials in setting the date, time, and place of the trial. One of the key features of a trial by judge alone is that it is faster and more efficient than a trial by jury. This is because judge-alone trials do not require the selection and education of a jury, which can often be a time-consuming process. Additionally, a judge-alone trial can avoid the risk of a hung jury, which can result in a mistrial and require a retrial to be scheduled. However, there are also some potential drawbacks to a trial by judge alone. The accused may feel that they would be better served by a jury trial, as a jury is more representative of the community and may be more sympathetic to the accused's position. Additionally, a judge-alone trial may not have the same level of accountability and transparency as a jury trial, as the judge is not being directly scrutinized by a group of jurors. Regardless of the perceived benefits and drawbacks of judge-alone trials, the fact remains that they are enshrined in Canadian law and are used regularly in criminal proceedings. Section 560(1) provides a clear and concise outline of the procedure for setting a date and place for such a trial, which helps to ensure that the process is fair, efficient, and transparent. It is worth noting that the decision to waive the right to a jury trial is a significant one, and should not be taken lightly by the accused or their legal counsel. Before making this decision, it is important to carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of a judge-alone trial, and to discuss these with a qualified legal professional. In conclusion, section 560(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an important framework for the conduct of judge-alone trials in criminal proceedings. While there are both advantages and disadvantages to this type of trial, it is an important option for accused individuals who wish to expedite the legal process and avoid the potential risks associated with a jury trial. Ultimately, the decision to waive the right to a jury trial should be carefully considered in light of the specific circumstances of each case.

STRATEGY

When dealing with section 560(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, there are several strategic considerations that must be taken into account. These include the nature of the offense, the strength of the evidence, the potential sentencing outcomes, and the defendant's personal circumstances. The following are some strategies that could be employed when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada. 1. Deciding whether to elect for a trial by judge alone or jury: When facing criminal charges, one of the first strategic considerations is whether to choose a trial by judge without a jury, or a trial by judge and jury. There are several factors to consider when making this decision. For example, if the evidence against the defendant is strong, they may be more likely to choose a judge alone trial as the judge is less likely to be swayed by emotional appeals than a jury. On the other hand, if the defendant believes that their case would benefit from a jury trial, they may choose to proceed with that option. 2. Building a strong case: If a defendant chooses a trial by judge alone, it is crucial to build a strong case using expert testimony, forensic evidence, and other relevant evidence. The strength of the evidence can significantly impact the outcome of the trial. 3. Understanding the judge's rulings: Each judge has their own unique style and approach to making rulings. It is important to research and understand the judge's previous rulings and opinions, as well as their views on specific legal issues. This can help attorneys to better predict how the judge is likely to rule on certain aspects of the case. 4. Developing a sentencing strategy: If the defendant is convicted, the sentencing outcome will depend on the severity and nature of the offense, as well as the defendant's personal circumstances. Before the trial, it is important to develop a strategic plan for sentencing that takes into account any mitigating factors or extenuating circumstances that may be relevant. 5. Considering the defendant's personal circumstances: The defendant's personal circumstances may also impact the trial strategy. For example, if the defendant has a criminal record, they may be more interested in taking a plea deal or negotiating a lighter sentence to avoid lengthy imprisonment. 6. Preparing witnesses: Whether the trial is by judge alone or by a jury, preparing witnesses is an essential part of the trial preparation process. Witnesses should be prepared to testify effectively and should be coached on how to handle cross-examination. In conclusion, section 560(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada presents several strategic considerations for defendants and their attorneys. The above strategies can help defendants to prepare for trial, develop successful trial strategies, and increase their chances of a favorable outcome.