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Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

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Act current to 2022-06-20 and last amended on 2022-06-20. Previous Versions

PART XVSpecial Procedure and Powers (continued)

Other Provisions Respecting Search Warrants, Preservation Orders and Production Orders (continued)

Marginal note:Documents

  •  (1) Any document obtained pursuant to a warrant, authorization or order issued in accordance with subsection 488.01(3), or that is the subject of an order made under subsection 488.01(6) or paragraph 488.01(10)(c), is to be placed in a packet and sealed by the court that issued the warrant, authorization or order and is to be kept in the custody of the court in a place to which the public has no access or in such other place as the judge may authorize and is not to be dealt with except in accordance with this section.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (2) No officer is to examine or reproduce, in whole or in part, a document referred to in subsection (1) without giving the journalist and relevant media outlet notice of his or her intention to examine or reproduce the document.

  • Marginal note:Application

    (3) The journalist or relevant media outlet may, within 10 days of receiving the notice referred to in subsection (2), apply to a judge of the court that issued the warrant, authorization or order to issue an order that the document is not to be disclosed to an officer on the grounds that the document identifies or is likely to identity a journalistic source.

  • Marginal note:Disclosure: prohibition

    (4) A document that is subject to an application under subsection (3) is to be disclosed to an officer only following a disclosure order in accordance with paragraph (7)(b).

  • Marginal note:Disclosure order

    (5) The judge may order the disclosure of a document only if he or she is satisfied that

    • (a) there is no other way by which the information can reasonably be obtained; and

    • (b) the public interest in the investigation and prosecution of a criminal offence outweighs the journalist’s right to privacy in gathering and disseminating information.

  • Marginal note:Examination

    (6) The judge may, if he or she considers it necessary, examine a document to determine whether it should be disclosed.

  • Marginal note:Order

    (7) The judge must,

    • (a) if he or she is of the opinion that the document should not be disclosed, order that it be returned to the journalist or the media outlet, as the case may be; or

    • (b) if he or she is of the opinion that the document should be disclosed, order that it be delivered to the officer who gave the notice under subsection (2), subject to such restrictions and conditions as the judge deems appropriate.

  • 2017, c. 22, s. 3

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) In this section,

    custodian

    custodian means a person in whose custody a package is placed pursuant to subsection (2); (gardien)

    document

    document, for the purposes of this section, has the same meaning as in section 321; (document)

    judge

    judge means a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction of the province where the seizure was made; (juge)

    lawyer

    lawyer means, in the Province of Quebec, an advocate, lawyer or notary and, in any other province, a barrister or solicitor; (avocat)

    officer

    officer means a peace officer or public officer. (fonctionnaire)

  • Marginal note:Examination or seizure of certain documents where privilege claimed

    (2) Where an officer acting under the authority of this or any other Act of Parliament is about to examine, copy or seize a document in the possession of a lawyer who claims that a named client of his has a solicitor-client privilege in respect of that document, the officer shall, without examining or making copies of the document,

    • (a) seize the document and place it in a package and suitably seal and identify the package; and

    • (b) place the package in the custody of the sheriff of the district or county in which the seizure was made or, if there is agreement in writing that a specified person act as custodian, in the custody of that person.

  • Marginal note:Application to judge

    (3) Where a document has been seized and placed in custody under subsection (2), the Attorney General or the client or the lawyer on behalf of the client, may

    • (a) within fourteen days from the day the document was so placed in custody, apply, on two days notice of motion to all other persons entitled to make application, to a judge for an order

      • (i) appointing a place and a day, not later than twenty-one days after the date of the order, for the determination of the question whether the document should be disclosed, and

      • (ii) requiring the custodian to produce the document to the judge at that time and place;

    • (b) serve a copy of the order on all other persons entitled to make application and on the custodian within six days of the date on which it was made; and

    • (c) if he has proceeded as authorized by paragraph (b), apply, at the appointed time and place, for an order determining the question.

  • Marginal note:Disposition of application

    (4) On an application under paragraph (3)(c), the judge

    • (a) may, if the judge considers it necessary to determine the question whether the document should be disclosed, inspect the document;

    • (b) where the judge is of the opinion that it would materially assist him in deciding whether or not the document is privileged, may allow the Attorney General to inspect the document;

    • (c) shall allow the Attorney General and the person who objects to the disclosure of the document to make representations; and

    • (d) shall determine the question summarily and,

      • (i) if the judge is of the opinion that the document should not be disclosed, ensure that it is repackaged and resealed and order the custodian to deliver the document to the lawyer who claimed the solicitor-client privilege or to the client, or

      • (ii) if the judge is of the opinion that the document should be disclosed, order the custodian to deliver the document to the officer who seized the document or some other person designated by the Attorney General, subject to such restrictions or conditions as the judge deems appropriate,

      and shall, at the same time, deliver concise reasons for the determination in which the nature of the document is described without divulging the details thereof.

  • Marginal note:Privilege continues

    (5) Where the judge determines pursuant to paragraph (4)(d) that a solicitor-client privilege exists in respect of a document, whether or not the judge has, pursuant to paragraph (4)(b), allowed the Attorney General to inspect the document, the document remains privileged and inadmissible as evidence unless the client consents to its admission in evidence or the privilege is otherwise lost.

  • Marginal note:Order to custodian to deliver

    (6) Where a document has been seized and placed in custody under subsection (2) and a judge, on the application of the Attorney General, is satisfied that no application has been made under paragraph (3)(a) or that following such an application no further application has been made under paragraph (3)(c), the judge shall order the custodian to deliver the document to the officer who seized the document or to some other person designated by the Attorney General.

  • Marginal note:Application to another judge

    (7) Where the judge to whom an application has been made under paragraph (3)(c) cannot act or continue to act under this section for any reason, subsequent applications under that paragraph may be made to another judge.

  • Marginal note:Prohibition

    (8) No officer shall examine, make copies of or seize any document without affording a reasonable opportunity for a claim of solicitor-client privilege to be made under subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Authority to make copies

    (9) At any time while a document is in the custody of a custodian under this section, a judge may, on an ex parte application of a person claiming a solicitor-client privilege under this section, authorize that person to examine the document or make a copy of it in the presence of the custodian or the judge, but any such authorization shall contain provisions to ensure that the document is repackaged and that the package is resealed without alteration or damage.

  • Marginal note:Hearing in private

    (10) An application under paragraph (3)(c) shall be heard in private.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (11) This section does not apply in circumstances where a claim of solicitor-client privilege may be made under the Income Tax Act or under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 71
  • 2000, c. 17, s. 89
  • 2001, c. 41, s. 80

Marginal note:Seizure of things not specified

  •  (1) Every person who executes a warrant may seize, in addition to the things mentioned in the warrant, any thing that the person believes on reasonable grounds

    • (a) has been obtained by the commission of an offence against this or any other Act of Parliament;

    • (b) has been used in the commission of an offence against this or any other Act of Parliament; or

    • (c) will afford evidence in respect of an offence against this or any other Act of Parliament.

  • Marginal note:Seizure without warrant

    (2) Every peace officer, and every public officer who has been appointed or designated to administer or enforce any federal or provincial law and whose duties include the enforcement of this or any other Act of Parliament, who is lawfully present in a place pursuant to a warrant or otherwise in the execution of duties may, without a warrant, seize any thing that the officer believes on reasonable grounds

    • (a) has been obtained by the commission of an offence against this or any other Act of Parliament;

    • (b) has been used in the commission of an offence against this or any other Act of Parliament; or

    • (c) will afford evidence in respect of an offence against this or any other Act of Parliament.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 489
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 72, c. 42 (4th Supp.), s. 3
  • 1993, c. 40, s. 16
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 48

Marginal note:Restitution of property or report by peace officer

  •  (1) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, where a peace officer has seized anything under a warrant issued under this Act or under section 487.11 or 489 or otherwise in the execution of duties under this or any other Act of Parliament, the peace officer shall, as soon as is practicable,

    • (a) where the peace officer is satisfied,

      • (i) that there is no dispute as to who is lawfully entitled to possession of the thing seized, and

      • (ii) that the continued detention of the thing seized is not required for the purposes of any investigation or a preliminary inquiry, trial or other proceeding,

      return the thing seized, on being issued a receipt therefor, to the person lawfully entitled to its possession and report to the justice who issued the warrant or some other justice for the same territorial division or, if no warrant was issued, a justice having jurisdiction in respect of the matter, that he has done so; or

    • (b) where the peace officer is not satisfied as described in subparagraphs (a)(i) and (ii),

      • (i) bring the thing seized before the justice referred to in paragraph (a), or

      • (ii) report to the justice that he has seized the thing and is detaining it or causing it to be detained

      to be dealt with by the justice in accordance with subsection 490(1).

  • Marginal note:Restitution of property or report by peace officer

    (2) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, where a person, other than a peace officer, has seized anything under a warrant issued under this Act or under section 487.11 or 489 or otherwise in the execution of duties under this or any other Act of Parliament, that person shall, as soon as is practicable,

    • (a) bring the thing seized before the justice who issued the warrant or some other justice for the same territorial division or, if no warrant was issued, before a justice having jurisdiction in respect of the matter, or

    • (b) report to the justice referred to in paragraph (a) that he has seized the thing and is detaining it or causing it to be detained,

    to be dealt with by the justice in accordance with subsection 490(1).

  • Marginal note:Form

    (3) A report to a justice under this section shall be in the form set out as Form 5.2 in Part XXVIII, varied to suit the case and shall include, in the case of a report in respect of a warrant issued by telephone or other means of telecommunication, the statements referred to in subsection 487.1(9).

  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 72
  • 1993, c. 40, s. 17
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 49

Marginal note:Detention of things seized

  •  (1) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, where, pursuant to paragraph 489.1(1)(b) or subsection 489.1(2), anything that has been seized is brought before a justice or a report in respect of anything seized is made to a justice, the justice shall,

    • (a) where the lawful owner or person who is lawfully entitled to possession of the thing seized is known, order it to be returned to that owner or person, unless the prosecutor, or the peace officer or other person having custody of the thing seized, satisfies the justice that the detention of the thing seized is required for the purposes of any investigation or a preliminary inquiry, trial or other proceeding; or

    • (b) where the prosecutor, or the peace officer or other person having custody of the thing seized, satisfies the justice that the thing seized should be detained for a reason set out in paragraph (a), detain the thing seized or order that it be detained, taking reasonable care to ensure that it is preserved until the conclusion of any investigation or until it is required to be produced for the purposes of a preliminary inquiry, trial or other proceeding.

  • Marginal note:Further detention

    (2) Nothing shall be detained under the authority of paragraph (1)(b) for a period of more than three months after the day of the seizure, or any longer period that ends when an application made under paragraph (a) is decided, unless

    • (a) a justice, on the making of a summary application to him after three clear days notice thereof to the person from whom the thing detained was seized, is satisfied that, having regard to the nature of the investigation, its further detention for a specified period is warranted and the justice so orders; or

    • (b) proceedings are instituted in which the thing detained may be required.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (3) More than one order for further detention may be made under paragraph (2)(a) but the cumulative period of detention shall not exceed one year from the day of the seizure, or any longer period that ends when an application made under paragraph (a) is decided, unless

    • (a) a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552, on the making of a summary application to him after three clear days notice thereof to the person from whom the thing detained was seized, is satisfied, having regard to the complex nature of the investigation, that the further detention of the thing seized is warranted for a specified period and subject to such other conditions as the judge considers just, and the judge so orders; or

    • (b) proceedings are instituted in which the thing detained may be required.

  • Marginal note:Detention without application where consent

    (3.1) A thing may be detained under paragraph (1)(b) for any period, whether or not an application for an order under subsection (2) or (3) is made, if the lawful owner or person who is lawfully entitled to possession of the thing seized consents in writing to its detention for that period.

  • Marginal note:When accused ordered to stand trial

    (4) When an accused has been ordered to stand trial, the justice shall forward anything detained pursuant to subsections (1) to (3) to the clerk of the court to which the accused has been ordered to stand trial to be detained by the clerk of the court and disposed of as the court directs.

  • Marginal note:Where continued detention no longer required

    (5) Where at any time before the expiration of the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) in respect of anything seized, the prosecutor, or the peace officer or other person having custody of the thing seized, determines that the continued detention of the thing seized is no longer required for any purpose mentioned in subsection (1) or (4), the prosecutor, peace officer or other person shall apply to

    • (a) a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552, where a judge ordered its detention under subsection (3), or

    • (b) a justice, in any other case,

    who shall, after affording the person from whom the thing was seized or the person who claims to be the lawful owner thereof or person entitled to its possession, if known, an opportunity to establish that he is lawfully entitled to the possession thereof, make an order in respect of the property under subsection (9).

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (6) Where the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) in respect of anything seized have expired and proceedings have not been instituted in which the thing detained may be required, the prosecutor, peace officer or other person shall apply to a judge or justice referred to in paragraph (5)(a) or (b) in the circumstances set out in that paragraph, for an order in respect of the property under subsection (9) or (9.1).

  • Marginal note:Application for order of return

    (7) A person from whom anything has been seized may, after the expiration of the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) and on three clear days notice to the Attorney General, apply summarily to

    • (a) a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552, where a judge ordered the detention of the thing seized under subsection (3), or

    • (b) a justice, in any other case,

    for an order under paragraph (9)(c) that the thing seized be returned to the applicant.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (8) A judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction or a judge as defined in section 552, where a judge ordered the detention of the thing seized under subsection (3), or a justice, in any other case, may allow an application to be made under subsection (7) prior to the expiration of the periods referred to therein where he is satisfied that hardship will result unless the application is so allowed.

  • Marginal note:Disposal of things seized

    (9) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, if

    • (a) a judge referred to in subsection (7), where a judge ordered the detention of anything seized under subsection (3), or

    • (b) a justice, in any other case,

    is satisfied that the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) in respect of anything seized have expired and proceedings have not been instituted in which the thing detained may be required or, where those periods have not expired, that the continued detention of the thing seized will not be required for any purpose mentioned in subsection (1) or (4), he shall

    • (c) if possession of it by the person from whom it was seized is lawful, order it to be returned to that person, or

    • (d) if possession of it by the person from whom it was seized is unlawful and the lawful owner or person who is lawfully entitled to its possession is known, order it to be returned to the lawful owner or to the person who is lawfully entitled to its possession,

    and may, if possession of it by the person from whom it was seized is unlawful, or if it was seized when it was not in the possession of any person, and the lawful owner or person who is lawfully entitled to its possession is not known, order it to be forfeited to Her Majesty, to be disposed of as the Attorney General directs, or otherwise dealt with in accordance with the law.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (9.1) Notwithstanding subsection (9), a judge or justice referred to in paragraph (9)(a) or (b) may, if the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) in respect of a thing seized have expired but proceedings have not been instituted in which the thing may be required, order that the thing continue to be detained for such period as the judge or justice considers necessary if the judge or justice is satisfied

    • (a) that the continued detention of the thing might reasonably be required for a purpose mentioned in subsection (1) or (4); and

    • (b) that it is in the interests of justice to do so.

  • Marginal note:Application by lawful owner

    (10) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, a person, other than a person who may make an application under subsection (7), who claims to be the lawful owner or person lawfully entitled to possession of anything seized and brought before or reported to a justice under section 489.1 may, at any time, on three clear days notice to the Attorney General and the person from whom the thing was seized, apply summarily to

    • (a) a judge referred to in subsection (7), where a judge ordered the detention of the thing seized under subsection (3), or

    • (b) a justice, in any other case,

    for an order that the thing detained be returned to the applicant.

  • Marginal note:Order

    (11) Subject to this or any other Act of Parliament, on an application under subsection (10), where a judge or justice is satisfied that

    • (a) the applicant is the lawful owner or lawfully entitled to possession of the thing seized, and

    • (b) the periods of detention provided for or ordered under subsections (1) to (3) in respect of the thing seized have expired and proceedings have not been instituted in which the thing detained may be required or, where such periods have not expired, that the continued detention of the thing seized will not be required for any purpose mentioned in subsection (1) or (4),

    the judge or justice shall order that

    • (c) the thing seized be returned to the applicant, or

    • (d) except as otherwise provided by law, where, pursuant to subsection (9), the thing seized was forfeited, sold or otherwise dealt with in such a manner that it cannot be returned to the applicant, the applicant be paid the proceeds of sale or the value of the thing seized.

  • Marginal note:Detention pending appeal, etc.

    (12) Notwithstanding anything in this section, nothing shall be returned, forfeited or disposed of under this section pending any application made, or appeal taken, thereunder in respect of the thing or proceeding in which the right of seizure thereof is questioned or within thirty days after an order in respect of the thing is made under this section.

  • Marginal note:Copies of documents returned

    (13) The Attorney General, the prosecutor or the peace officer or other person having custody of a document seized may, before bringing it before a justice or complying with an order that the document be returned, forfeited or otherwise dealt with under subsection (1), (9) or (11), make or cause to be made, and may retain, a copy of the document.

  • Marginal note:Probative force

    (14) Every copy made under subsection (13) that is certified as a true copy by the Attorney General, the person who made the copy or the person in whose presence the copy was made is admissible in evidence and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, has the same probative force as the original document would have if it had been proved in the ordinary way.

  • Marginal note:Access to anything seized

    (15) Where anything is detained pursuant to subsections (1) to (3.1), a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction, a judge as defined in section 552 or a provincial court judge may, on summary application on behalf of a person who has an interest in what is detained, after three clear days notice to the Attorney General, order that the person by or on whose behalf the application is made be permitted to examine anything so detained.

  • Marginal note:Conditions

    (16) An order that is made under subsection (15) shall be made on such terms as appear to the judge to be necessary or desirable to ensure that anything in respect of which the order is made is safeguarded and preserved for any purpose for which it may subsequently be required.

  • Marginal note:Appeal

    (17) A person who feels aggrieved by an order made under subsection (8), (9), (9.1) or (11) may appeal from the order

    • (a) to the court of appeal as defined in section 673 if the order was made by a judge of a superior court of criminal jurisdiction, in which case sections 678 to 689 apply with any modifications that the circumstances require; or

    • (b) to the appeal court as defined in section 812 in any other case, in which case sections 813 to 828 apply with any modifications that the circumstances require.

  • Marginal note:Waiver of notice

    (18) Any person to whom three days notice must be given under paragraph (2)(a) or (3)(a) or subsection (7), (10) or (15) may agree that the application for which the notice is given be made before the expiration of the three days.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 490
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 73
  • 1994, c. 44, s. 38
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 50
  • 2008, c. 18, s. 14
  • 2017, c. 7, s. 63(F)
 
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