section 640(2)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section outlines the process for determining the validity of a challenge to a juror if the grounds are not covered by subsection (1) and no order has been made under subsection (2.1).

SECTION WORDING

640(2) If the ground of a challenge is one that is not mentioned in subsection (1) and no order has been made under subsection (2.1), the two jurors who were last sworn or, if no jurors have been sworn, two persons present who are appointed by the court for the purpose shall be sworn to determine whether the ground of challenge is true.

EXPLANATION

Section 640(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the process that should be followed if a ground of challenge is raised during a criminal trial that has not already been covered by subsection (1) or addressed in an order made under subsection (2.1). Specifically, this section requires that two jurors or appointed individuals be sworn in order to determine whether the ground of challenge is true. A "ground of challenge" refers to situations where a party involved in the trial (such as the Crown or defence) feels that a juror may be biased or otherwise unable to make an impartial decision. Section 640(1) covers certain specific grounds of challenge, such as jurors having connections to the accused or being unable to understand the language used in the trial. If a ground of challenge arises that is not mentioned in subsection (1), however, then 640(2) comes into play. In these cases, two jurors who were last sworn (meaning the most recent jurors added to the trial) will be chosen to determine whether the challenge is valid or not. If no jurors have been sworn, then two individuals present in the courtroom can be appointed by the judge to serve this purpose. Overall, Section 640(2) is an important provision in ensuring that jury trials remain fair and impartial. By providing a clear process for handling challenges that are not covered elsewhere in the Criminal Code, this section helps to minimize the risk of bias or other forms of unfairness seeping into the trial process.

COMMENTARY

Section 640(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a procedure for grounds of challenge not specifically mentioned in subsection (1). This section sets out a process for addressing challenges to jurors based on grounds not previously listed, such as possible bias or inability to perform their duties. When a challenge is made based on these grounds, the court appoints two people or jurors who were last sworn to determine whether the ground of challenge is valid. The purpose of this process is to ensure that jurors are impartial and capable of performing their duty to consider the evidence presented in a case and to render a verdict based on that evidence. The importance of impartial and capable jurors cannot be overstated. Jurors are the gatekeepers of justice in a criminal trial, and their impartiality is essential to the fairness and integrity of the process. Jurors must be able to consider evidence and arguments presented in court without bias or prejudice, and they must be capable of carrying out their duties without being unduly influenced by outside factors or personal feelings. The procedure set out in Section 640(2) helps to ensure that jurors meet these standards. If a juror is found to be biased or incapable of carrying out their duty, they may be dismissed and replaced with an alternate juror. This helps to maintain the integrity of the trial by ensuring that the verdict is the result of a fair and impartial process. It is worth noting that the procedure outlined in Section 640(2) only applies to challenges based on grounds not previously listed in subsection (1). Some of these grounds include being related to the accused or a witness, having a previous conviction, or being a member of a group that is likely to be prejudiced against the accused. These grounds are listed in subsection (1) because they are considered to be generally indicative of bias or incapacity on the part of the juror. In conclusion, Section 640(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an important mechanism for addressing challenges to jurors based on grounds not specifically listed in subsection (1). This procedure helps to ensure that jurors are impartial and capable of carrying out their duties, and helps to maintain the integrity of the criminal trial process. Overall, the Criminal Code of Canada and its provisions such as Section 640(2) play a strong role in creating a fair and just legal system in Canada.

STRATEGY

Section 640(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada relates to a challenge of a juror that is not based on any of the grounds explicitly mentioned in subsection (1). In such cases, the court must appoint two jurors or individuals present to determine whether the challenge is valid. When it comes to dealing with this section of the Criminal Code, there are several strategic considerations that lawyers and their clients must take into account. Below are some strategies that could be employed in such cases. 1. Evaluate the situation: Before making a challenge under Section 640(2), it is important to evaluate the situation and determine if challenging the juror is necessary. Sometimes, a challenge could result in the replacement of a juror who may ultimately be beneficial to the client's case. 2. Prepare thoroughly: If a challenge is necessary, preparing thoroughly is important. Lawyers should research the potential jurors and their backgrounds to identify any potential biases or prejudices that could impact the trial. This information can be used to support the challenge. 3. Make a persuasive argument: When making a challenge, a lawyer must make a persuasive argument to convince the court that the challenge is valid. This may involve presenting evidence to support the challenge or cross-examining potential jurors to uncover any biases or prejudices. 4. Consider the impact on the jury: If a challenge is successful, the replacement juror could be equally biased or prejudiced. Alternatively, the replacement juror could be more or less sympathetic to the client's case. Lawyers should consider the potential impact of a challenge on the overall makeup of the jury. 5. Weigh the risks and benefits: Lawyers and clients must weigh the risks and benefits of making a challenge under Section 640(2). A successful challenge could result in the replacement of a potentially biased juror, but it could also result in a delay in the trial and potentially harm the client's case. In conclusion, Section 640(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a mechanism for challenging jurors on grounds not explicitly mentioned in subsection (1). Lawyers and their clients must carefully evaluate the situation, prepare thoroughly, make persuasive arguments, consider the impact on the jury, and weigh the risks and benefits when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code.