INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
635(1) The accused shall be called on before the prosecutor is called on to declare whether the accused challenges the first juror, for cause or peremptorily, and thereafter the prosecutor and the accused shall be called on alternately, in respect of each of the remaining jurors, to first make such a declaration.
Section 635(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the procedure for selecting a jury in criminal trials. When selecting a jury, the accused is given the opportunity to challenge jurors for cause or peremptorily, meaning they can either present a valid reason for the challenge or simply reject a juror without explanation. This section requires that the accused be called on before the prosecutor to make their challenges, and then the prosecutor and the accused have alternating turns to make declarations for the remaining jurors. This ensures that both sides have an equal opportunity to influence the makeup of the jury and that the process is followed fairly and without bias. The purpose of having the option to challenge jurors is to ensure that the jury is impartial and unbiased in their decision-making. This is essential in maintaining the integrity of the criminal justice system and ensuring a fair trial for the accused. By allowing both the prosecutor and accused to challenge jurors, it helps to prevent the possibility of a juror having preconceived notions or biases that could affect their ability to impartially assess the case. Overall, section 635(1) ensures that the process of selecting a jury is conducted fairly and transparently, allowing both parties to challenge jurors to achieve an impartial and unbiased jury, which is essential for a fair trial.
Section 635(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the process of jury selection in criminal trials. More specifically, it dictates the order in which the prosecutor and the accused have the chance to challenge potential jurors. This provision is an important aspect of the criminal justice system, as it ensures that juries are selected in a fair and impartial manner. Under this section, the accused is given the first opportunity to challenge the first juror, either for cause or peremptorily. For cause challenges are made when there is a reason to believe that a potential juror cannot be impartial or fair in their deliberations. This could be due to a relationship with the accused or the victim, a conflict of interest, or prior knowledge of the case. Peremptory challenges, on the other hand, are made without having to provide a reason and are often used to remove potential jurors who may be perceived as unfavorable to the accused. Following the accused's challenge of the first juror, the prosecutor and the accused are then called on alternately to challenge the remaining potential jurors. This process is crucial to ensure that the jury selected is impartial and fair. A jury that is not impartial has the potential to undermine the integrity of the criminal justice system. An impartial jury is one that is not influenced by bias or outside factors, but rather makes decisions based solely on the evidence presented in court. Section 635(1) also ensures that both the prosecutor and the accused have an equal opportunity to challenge potential jurors. This is important as it prevents one side from gaining an unfair advantage over the other. However, challenges to jurors can also be a source of controversy and debate. Some critics argue that peremptory challenges can be used to exclude potential jurors based on factors such as race or gender. While it is illegal to use peremptory challenges in a discriminatory manner, it can be difficult to prove such intent. Overall, Section 635(1) is an important provision that helps to ensure that juries are selected in a fair and impartial manner. While there may be debates and controversies surrounding the use of peremptory challenges, this section of the Criminal Code remains a critical component of the Canadian justice system.
Section 635(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an essential provision governing the selection of jurors in a criminal trial. The section stipulates the order in which the prosecutor and the accused must declare their challenges to the jurors, for cause or peremptorily. This provision is crucial because the composition of the jury can significantly impact the outcome of a criminal trial. Therefore, it is imperative for both the prosecutor and the accused to carefully consider how they use this section to their advantage. One of the primary strategic considerations when dealing with Section 635(1) is the order in which challenges are made. The accused has the right to challenge the first juror, either for cause or peremptorily. The prosecutor then has a similar opportunity to challenge the next juror. This alternation continues until the jury is complete. The order of challenges can be critical because each challenge can impact the jury's composition. Therefore, strategic challenges that target specific jurors can help to shape the jury in favor of the accused or the prosecution. Another strategic consideration is the type of challenge used. There are two types of challenges: challenges for cause and peremptory challenges. A challenge for cause is based on specific reasons that the juror is deemed unsuitable to sit on the jury. For example, if the juror has a personal connection to the case or exhibits bias toward the accused, a challenge for cause could be used. Peremptory challenges, on the other hand, do not require a reason, but they are limited in number. Therefore, it is crucial to use them strategically to eliminate jurors that may be unfavorable to the case. The number of peremptory challenges available is also a strategic consideration. In Canada, the number of peremptory challenges that each party has varies based on the severity of the offense. For example, in a murder trial, each side may have 20 peremptory challenges, while in a summary conviction trial, there may only be a total of 6. Therefore, the number of peremptory challenges available must be used judiciously to target jurors who may be unfavorable to the party's case. In addition to these strategic considerations, there are also specific strategies that can be employed when challenging jurors under Section 635(1). One of the primary strategies is to use peremptory challenges to eliminate potential jurors who may hold biases or qualities that may be unfavorable to the party's case. It is important to use peremptory challenges wisely since they are limited in number. Additionally, jurors may be reluctant to reveal their true biases in court, which can be challenging to detect when using for-cause challenges. Therefore, peremptory challenges can be an effective tool to eliminate unfavorable jurors. Another strategy is to challenge jurors based on specific legal grounds. For example, a juror may come to the trial with preconceived notions or prejudices that can make them unsuitable to serve as an impartial member of the jury. In such cases, for-cause challenges can be used to exclude jurors that are deemed ineligible to serve because of their irrational beliefs. In conclusion, Section 635(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that governs the selection of jurors in a criminal trial. Both the prosecutor and the accused must carefully consider the order in which they use this provision, the type of challenges they make, and the number of peremptory challenges available to them. Employing effective strategies to challenge jurors can help to ensure a fair trial and increase the likelihood of a favorable result.