section 714

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section states that the process of appointing commissioners, taking evidence, and using it in criminal proceedings is similar to that of civil proceedings in the superior court of the province.

SECTION WORDING

714 Except where otherwise provided by this Part or by rules of court, the practice and procedure in connection with the appointment of commissioners under this Part, the taking of evidence by commissioners, the certifying and return thereof and the use of the evidence in the proceedings shall, as far as possible, be the same as those that govern like matters in civil proceedings in the superior court of the province in which the proceedings are taken.

EXPLANATION

Section 714 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides guidance on the procedures for appointing commissioners and taking evidence in criminal matters. It specifies that the practice and procedure for these matters should follow those used in civil proceedings in the superior court of the province where the proceedings are taking place. The section recognizes that there may be specific rules governing these procedures in certain situations, but it sets out a general framework for how they should be carried out. This framework is intended to ensure fairness and consistency in the collection and use of evidence in criminal cases, which is particularly important given the serious consequences that may result from a criminal conviction. By aligning the procedures for appointing commissioners and taking evidence with civil proceedings, Section 714 helps to ensure that they are carried out in an orderly and transparent manner. This allows the parties involved in the criminal proceedings to have confidence in the process, which is important for ensuring a fair and just outcome. Overall, Section 714 plays a key role in ensuring that the procedures followed in criminal proceedings are consistent with those used in civil proceedings. By doing so, it helps to uphold the principles of justice, fairness, and transparency, which are fundamental to the Canadian legal system.

COMMENTARY

Section 714 of the Criminal Code of Canada lays down certain provisions regarding the appointment of commissioners, the taking of evidence by commissioners, the certifying and return thereof, and the use of the evidence in proceedings. This section specifies that the practice and procedure to be followed while appointing commissioners under this part shall be the same as those that govern similar matters in civil proceedings in the superior court of the province in which the proceedings are taken. This provision is essential in maintaining consistency in legal procedures across the country, particularly in criminal investigations and trials. It ensures that the process of appointing commissioners in criminal investigations and trials follows the same rules as the civil procedure, thus enhancing the predictability and transparency of the system. Moreover, this provision ensures a fairer investigation or trial, as the evidence obtained by commissioners under this part will be deemed admissible in court only if it is collected according to the civil procedure. This means that the evidence must be collected without any breach of the rules of natural justice and that the rights of individuals must be duly protected. This further ensures that the evidence to be presented in criminal proceedings will have been obtained in an unbiased and impartial manner. Additionally, this provision promotes the efficient and speedy resolution of criminal cases. As the investigation and trial procedures are harmonized with civil proceedings, they become simpler and less time-consuming, leading to faster decisions and quicker resolutions of cases. However, certain limitations exist in this provision due to the procedural differences between civil and criminal investigations and trials. For instance, in civil proceedings, parties have the right to discovery, which is not always possible in criminal investigations and trials due to the possibility of self-incrimination. Furthermore, the provision assumes an ideal standard where the rules of civil proceedings are viewed as fair and just. However, this may not always be the case, especially if the rules of civil proceedings are not fully compatible with the requirements of criminal investigations and trials. In conclusion, section 714 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a necessary provision that promotes consistency, transparency, and fairness in criminal investigations and trials while also ensuring efficient and speedy resolution of cases. While some limitations are recognized, this provision is a crucial part of the Canadian legal system and significantly contributes to the maintenance of a just and efficient justice system.

STRATEGY

Section 714 of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the appointment of commissioners, the taking of evidence, and the use of evidence in criminal proceedings. There are several strategic considerations that lawyers should bear in mind when dealing with this section. One strategy that lawyers can employ is to familiarize themselves with the civil procedures of the superior courts of the province in which the criminal proceedings are taking place. This can help them to understand the principles that are applied in these matters and to ensure that they are following the correct procedures to obtain and use evidence. Another strategy that lawyers can use is to research the case law that relates to this section of the Criminal Code. This can help them to understand how courts have applied this section in the past and to anticipate how it may be applied in their own case. It can also help them to develop arguments that are consistent with the principles that have been established in previous cases. Lawyers can also consider the strategic implications of using this section of the Criminal Code. For example, they may need to weigh the benefits of obtaining evidence through a commissioner against the potential risks, such as the possibility that the evidence obtained may not be admissible at trial. They may also need to consider the timing of their application for a commissioner, as well as the potential impact of the appointment on the rest of the case. When dealing with section 714 of the Criminal Code, lawyers should also be mindful of the potential for procedural challenges or objections from the other side. They may need to anticipate these objections and develop strategies for addressing them before they arise. Overall, the strategic considerations involved in dealing with section 714 of the Criminal Code require a careful assessment of the specific facts and circumstances of each case. By understanding the principles that apply and developing effective strategies, lawyers can increase their chances of obtaining and using evidence that is crucial to their clients' cases.