Marginal note:Offences may be charged in the alternative
590. (1) A count is not objectionable by reason only that
(a) it charges in the alternative several different matters, acts or omissions that are stated in the alternative in an enactment that describes as an indictable offence the matters, acts or omissions charged in the count; or
(b) it is double or multifarious.
Marginal note:Application to amend or divide counts
(2) An accused may at any stage of his trial apply to the court to amend or to divide a count that
(a) charges in the alternative different matters, acts or omissions that are stated in the alternative in the enactment that describes the offence or declares that the matters, acts or omissions charged are an indictable offence, or
(b) is double or multifarious,
on the ground that, as framed, it embarrasses him in his defence.
(3) The court may, where it is satisfied that the ends of justice require it, order that a count be amended or divided into two or more counts, and thereupon a formal commencement may be inserted before each of the counts into which it is divided.
- R.S., c. C-34, s. 519.
Marginal note:Joinder of counts
591. (1) Subject to section 589, any number of counts for any number of offences may be joined in the same indictment, but the counts shall be distinguished in the manner shown in Form 4.
Marginal note:Each count separate
(2) Where there is more than one count in an indictment, each count may be treated as a separate indictment.
Marginal note:Severance of accused and counts
(3) The court may, where it is satisfied that the interests of justice so require, order
(a) that the accused or defendant be tried separately on one or more of the counts; and
(b) where there is more than one accused or defendant, that one or more of them be tried separately on one or more of the counts.
Marginal note:Order for severance
(4) An order under subsection (3) may be made before or during the trial but, if the order is made during the trial, the jury shall be discharged from giving a verdict on the counts
(a) on which the trial does not proceed; or
(b) in respect of the accused or defendant who has been granted a separate trial.
Marginal note:Delayed enforcement
(4.1) The court may make an order under subsection (3) that takes effect either at a specified later date or on the occurrence of a specified event if, taking into account, among other considerations, the need to ensure consistent decisions, it is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice to do so.
Marginal note:Decisions binding on parties
(4.2) Unless the court is satisfied that it would not be in the interests of justice, the decisions relating to the disclosure or admissibility of evidence or the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that are made before any order issued under subsection (3) takes effect continue to bind the parties if the decisions are made — or could have been made — before the stage at which the evidence on the merits is presented.
Marginal note:Subsequent procedure
(5) The counts in respect of which a jury is discharged pursuant to paragraph (4)(a) may subsequently be proceeded on in all respects as if they were contained in a separate indictment.
(6) Where an order is made in respect of an accused or defendant under paragraph (3)(b), the accused or defendant may be tried separately on the counts in relation to which the order was made as if they were contained in a separate indictment.
- R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 591;
- R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 119;
- 2011, c. 16, s. 5.
- Date modified: