section 641(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Persons directed to stand by may be called to be sworn as jurors if a full jury and any alternate jurors have not been sworn and no cards remain to be drawn, unless excused or challenged.

SECTION WORDING

641(1) If a full jury and any alternate jurors have not been sworn and no cards remain to be drawn, the persons who have been directed to stand by shall be called again in the order in which their cards were drawn and shall be sworn, unless excused by the judge or challenged by the accused or the prosecutor.

EXPLANATION

Section 641(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the procedures for selecting a jury in a criminal trial. A jury is a panel of impartial individuals selected to determine the guilt or innocence of an accused person based on the evidence presented in court. The selection of a jury is a critical aspect of a fair trial, as it ensures that the accused is judged by their peers and not by the state alone. The section states that if a full jury and any alternate jurors have not been sworn and no cards remain to be drawn, the persons who have been directed to stand by shall be called again in the order in which their cards were drawn and shall be sworn. This means that if there are not enough jurors to complete the panel, the standby jurors will be called back to serve. The jurors are selected by drawing cards randomly from a box or other receptacle, and the order in which the cards are drawn determines the order in which the standby jurors will be called. However, there are exceptions to this rule. The judge may excuse a standby juror if there is a valid reason, such as illness or a conflict of interest. Additionally, the accused or the prosecutor may challenge a standby juror if they believe that the juror may be biased or unable to make a fair judgment. The challenge process involves questioning the juror and presenting arguments to the judge, who will ultimately decide whether the challenged juror will be excused. In summary, Section 641(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada ensures that a fair and impartial jury is selected for a criminal trial by setting out clear procedures for the selection of standby jurors and recognized methods for excusing them if necessary.

COMMENTARY

Section 641(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada plays a crucial role in ensuring that the justice system operates fairly and objectively. It outlines the process for selecting jurors in criminal trials, which is a fundamental aspect of the Canadian legal system. In essence, this section dictates that if a full jury and all alternate jurors have not been sworn in, and there are no more cards to be drawn, those individuals who have been directed to stand by must be called upon in the order of their initial selection. These individuals are then required to take an oath, unless they are excused by the judge or challenged by either the accused or the prosecutor. The reason for requiring alternate jurors to be present in a trial is to ensure that if any of the primary jurors become ill or are otherwise unable to continue with the trial, an alternate juror can take their place. This helps to ensure that a fair and impartial verdict can be reached, regardless of any unforeseen circumstances that may arise during the trial. This section of the Criminal Code is also critical in ensuring that the selection of jurors is done objectively and without bias. The drawing of cards to select potential jurors is a random process that is designed to prevent any favouritism or discrimination in the selection of jurors. By calling upon those individuals who were initially selected to stand by, the court is further safeguarding against any potential bias that may arise when selecting alternate jurors. However, it is important to note that this section of the Criminal Code does allow for individuals to be excused from serving as an alternate juror in certain circumstances. For example, an individual may be excused if they have a conflict of interest, such as a personal relationship with the accused or a witness in the trial. This provision helps to ensure that the trial is fair and impartial and that the jury selection process is not tainted by any potential biases or conflicts of interest. Overall, section 641(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical aspect of the Canadian legal system as it helps to ensure that juries are selected fairly, objectively and without bias. This helps to ensure that trials proceed smoothly and that verdicts are reached based on the evidence presented in court, rather than the personal biases or interests of the jurors. The provision for excusing individuals from serving as an alternate juror also helps to safeguard against any potential conflicts of interest or biases that may arise during the trial.

STRATEGY

Section 641(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that governs the selection of jurors in a trial. It provides guidance on the procedure to be followed if a full jury and alternate jurors have not yet been sworn, and the persons who have been directed to stand by need to be called again. When dealing with this section, there are several strategic considerations that should be taken into account. These include the importance of selecting a fair and impartial jury, the need to ensure that the jury is representative of the community, the need to avoid challenges for cause, and the need to ensure that the right to a fair trial is protected. To achieve these goals, several strategies could be employed. One strategy is to carefully review the list of potential jurors and conduct thorough research to identify any potential biases or conflicts of interest. This could involve reviewing social media profiles, conducting background checks, and interviewing potential jurors to assess their beliefs and attitudes. Another strategy is to pay close attention to the order in which the cards are drawn. This can have a significant impact on the composition of the jury and could help to ensure that a representative sample of the community is selected. In addition, it may be advisable to challenge any jurors that appear to have biases or conflicts of interest. This can be a delicate process that requires careful consideration of the facts and evidence in the case. It may also be necessary to bring in expert witnesses or conduct a more extensive voir dire process to gather more information about the jurors and their backgrounds. Ultimately, the goal is to select a fair and impartial jury that can assess the evidence in the case and render a verdict based on the facts alone. To achieve this goal, it is essential to carefully consider the requirements of Section 641(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada and to employ effective strategies when selecting jurors.