section 639(1)


The court has the discretion to require a written challenge on grounds mentioned in section 638.


639(1) Where a challenge is made on a ground mentioned in section 638, the court may, in its discretion, require the party that challenges to put the challenge in writing.


Section 639(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the process of challenges made during jury selection in criminal trials. The section comes into play when a challenge is made on the basis of any of the grounds listed in section 638 of the Code. These grounds include things like bias, lack of qualification, or any other reasonable cause. In such a situation, the court has the discretion to ask the party making the challenge to put it in writing. This means that they would need to formally document the reasons why they believe the potential juror is not suitable for the trial. The court may require this because it helps to ensure that the challenge is legitimate and not frivolous. The purpose of this section is to ensure fairness in the jury selection process. By requiring a written challenge, the court can better assess the merits of the objection and decide whether to allow or reject it. This can help to prevent arbitrary or discriminatory challenges and ensure that the jury is made up of impartial and qualified individuals. Overall, section 639(1) is an important provision of the Criminal Code that helps to promote the integrity and impartiality of the criminal justice system in Canada.


Section 639(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada enables courts to require written challenges when a challenge is made on a ground mentioned in section 638. Section 638 lays out several grounds for challenging a juror or jury panel member, including bias, partiality, and insufficient knowledge of the language in which the trial is conducted. The ultimate purpose of the provision is to ensure that jurors are impartial, unbiased, and capable of fulfilling their duties as a member of the jury. The discretion given to judges is crucial in this scenario as it allows the court to determine the validity of challenges and whether they merit a written response. The purpose of the written challenge is clear; it requires the party making the claim to present concrete evidence supporting their challenge and thereby providing the judge with a clear idea of the issue at hand. This can aid in the timely resolution of the challenge and enhance the overall efficiency of trial proceedings. Written challenges also allow for a more robust record of the matter before the court, supplementing the oral arguments. Written challenges provide clarity over the issue raised and candidly express the grounds for challenging, which may have been missed through an oral challenge. This ensures that the party's submissions are preserved and can be referred to during any appeals or review of the trial proceedings. While there is no prescribed form or specific requirements on what must be included in a challenge, legal practitioners should be aware of the importance of preparation and reliance on objective evidence. A judge cannot accept an allegation at face value; it needs to be substantiated through evidence. Merely making a challenge without providing sufficient evidence may result in the challenge being dismissed, ultimately harming the legitimate interests of the client. Moreover, the option of a written challenge provides an opportunity for parties to reflect and present their arguments in a considered and accurate manner, which may not be possible in the heat of the trial. Written challenges, therefore, are a means to ensure that reasonable and comprehensive grounds are advanced as this could potentially settle the matter before going to trial. In conclusion, Section 639(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a vital tool that serves to maintain the integrity of the jury system. Its flexibility provides courts with the discretion to determine the necessity for a written challenge, allowing juror challenges to be dealt with efficiently and effectively. Written challenges allow for a clear, concise presentation of the parties' arguments and supplement the oral submissions of the parties. Proper use of this provision is necessary for legal practitioners to fulfill their role in the administration of justice for their clients.


Section 639(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada grants discretion to the court to require parties to put their challenges in writing when a challenge is made on a ground mentioned in section 638. Section 638 outlines the grounds for challenging an individual from serving as a juror in a criminal trial. Such grounds may include: - That the juror is not impartial - That the juror is a relative of the accused or the victim - That the juror has been indicted for an offense - That the juror does not possess the necessary qualifications to serve as a juror - That the juror has already formed an opinion on the guilt or innocence of the accused When dealing with section 639(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, some strategic considerations that parties may wish to take into account include: 1. The nature of the challenge: Depending on the nature of the challenge, parties may choose to put their challenge in writing or not. For instance, if a challenge is based on the fact that the juror is a relative of the accused, it may be advisable to put the challenge in writing to provide documentation of the relationship. Similarly, challenges based on a juror's indictment may require formal documentation to support the challenge. 2. The strength of the challenge: Another strategic consideration is how strong the challenge is. Parties may choose not to put a challenge in writing if they feel that it is weak or unlikely to succeed. Conversely, if a party believes that their challenge is strong, they may opt to put it in writing to ensure that it is properly considered by the court. 3. The impact on the trial: Parties should also consider the potential impact that putting a challenge in writing may have on the trial. While documenting a challenge may make it easier for the court to consider and ultimately rule on, it can also prolong the proceedings and cause delays that may not be in the best interests of all parties involved. Based on these considerations, some strategies that parties may employ when dealing with section 639(1) include: 1. Preparing challenges in advance: Parties may choose to prepare their challenges in writing in advance of the trial to ensure that they are well-documented and supported by evidence. This may be particularly useful for challenges based on relationships or indictments, where formal documentation is required. 2. Assessing the strength of challenges: Parties should assess the strength of their challenges before deciding whether to put them in writing. Weak challenges may not justify the time and resources required to document them, while strong challenges may benefit from the additional support of written documentation. 3. Balancing the impact on the trial: Parties should balance the potential benefits of documenting challenges with the impact that it may have on the trial. Where possible, challenges should be resolved as efficiently as possible to avoid unnecessary delays in the proceedings. In conclusion, section 639(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides discretion to the court to require parties to put their challenges in writing when challenging a juror on a ground mentioned in section 638. Parties should consider various strategic considerations when dealing with this section, including the nature and strength of the challenge, as well as the potential impact on the trial. By employing these strategies, parties can increase their chances of success in challenging jurors while minimizing the impact on the trial.