section 651(3)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The accused or their counsel can address the jury last if no witnesses are examined, otherwise the prosecution addresses the jury last.

SECTION WORDING

651(3) Where no witnesses are examined for an accused, he or his counsel is entitled to address the jury last, but otherwise counsel for the prosecution is entitled to address the jury last.

EXPLANATION

Section 651(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out the rules regarding the order of addressing the jury during a criminal trial. If no witnesses are examined for the accused, then the accused or their counsel is entitled to address the jury last. However, if witnesses are examined on behalf of the accused, then the prosecution has the right to address the jury last. This section of the Criminal Code ensures a fair trial and promotes the principles of natural justice by ensuring that both sides have equal opportunities to present their case to the jury. The right to address the jury last is important because it gives the final opportunity to make an impression on the jury and to rebut any arguments made by the other side. Moreover, this section ensures that the accused is not prejudiced by the fact that they have not called any witnesses, as they are still entitled to have the final say in addressing the jury. Conversely, it also ensures that the prosecution has an equal opportunity to present their case and make a final impression on the jury. In summary, section 651(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada is designed to ensure equal and fair treatment to both the accused and the prosecution during a trial. It provides guidelines for the order of addressing the jury, ensuring that both sides have adequate time to present their cases and make their final statements. This provision is an essential component of the Canadian criminal justice system as it guarantees a fair and impartial trial.

COMMENTARY

Section 651(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the order in which the parties involved in a criminal trial may address the jury. The section states that if no witnesses are examined on behalf of the accused, then the accused or their counsel is entitled to address the jury last. However, if witnesses are examined on behalf of the accused, then the prosecution is entitled to address the jury last. This provision is important because it ensures that both parties have an opportunity to present their case to the jury. It also ensures that the jury receives the most persuasive argument last, which can have a significant impact on their decision. One of the key reasons why this provision is necessary is that it helps to prevent any unfair advantage from being given to either the prosecution or the defence. Without this provision, the prosecution would always have the last say, which could create an imbalance in the trial process and potentially impact the fairness of the verdict. Another reason why this provision is important is that it promotes the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness. These principles require that both parties have an equal opportunity to present their case and to be heard by an impartial tribunal. By allowing the accused or their counsel to address the jury last if no witnesses are examined on their behalf, the provision ensures that the accused has the opportunity to make their case in a way that is consistent with these principles. Overall, Section 651(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that helps to ensure a fair trial process for all parties involved. By allowing the accused or their counsel to address the jury last in certain circumstances, the provision promotes balance, fairness, and natural justice in the trial process.

STRATEGY

Section 651(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines an important aspect of the trial process: the order in which the accused and the prosecution may address the jury. This section is significant as it can impact the outcome of a trial, and therefore, it is vital for defense counsel to consider strategic approaches when dealing with this section. In this article, we will explore some of the strategic considerations and strategies that could be employed when dealing with section 651(3). Strategic considerations: 1. The strength of the prosecution's case: If the prosecution has a weak case, the defense may want to allow the prosecution to address the jury last. This is because the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, and if they cannot do so, the defense may benefit by having the jury hear their arguments first. 2. The strength of the defense's case: If the defense has a strong case, they may want to address the jury last. This is because the defense's arguments may be more convincing than the prosecution's, and by addressing the jury last, the defense can leave a lasting impression on the jury before they begin deliberations. 3. The accused's demeanor: If the accused is sympathetic, defense counsel may want to address the jury first. Similarly, if the accused is not sympathetic, defense counsel may want to allow the prosecution to address the jury last. 4. The venue of the trial: The venue of the trial can also impact the decision on who should address the jury last. For example, if the trial is taking place in a conservative jurisdiction, the defense may want to address the jury last as they may be more likely to be sympathetic to the prosecution. Alternatively, if the trial is taking place in a liberal jurisdiction, the defense may want to allow the prosecution to address the jury last. Some strategies that could be employed: 1. Focus on the key issues: Whether the defense is addressing the jury first or last, it is essential to focus on the key issues of the case. This means identifying the main arguments and evidence that support the defense's case and highlighting them in a clear and concise manner. 2. Build credibility: Building credibility with the jury is critical, regardless of whether the defense is addressing the jury first or last. This means preparing well, presenting evidence effectively, and being transparent throughout the course of the trial. 3. Use persuasive language: In order to be convincing, the defense should use persuasive language when addressing the jury. This means using powerful and emotive language, such as personal stories, analogies, and rhetorical devices. 4. Respond to the prosecution's arguments: If the prosecution is addressing the jury last, the defense should be prepared to respond to their arguments effectively. This means identifying weaknesses in the prosecution's case, highlighting contradictions in their evidence, and providing clear and compelling counterarguments. Ultimately, the decision on who should address the jury last will depend on a range of factors, including the strength of the case, the venue of the trial, and the accused's demeanor. However, by focusing on the key issues, building credibility, using persuasive language, and responding to the prosecution's arguments, the defense can increase their chances of success regardless of the order in which they address the jury.