Marginal note:Exclusion of public
486 (1) Any proceedings against an accused shall be held in open court, but the presiding judge or justice may, on application of the prosecutor or a witness or on his or her own motion, order the exclusion of all or any members of the public from the court room for all or part of the proceedings, or order that the witness testify behind a screen or other device that would allow the witness not to be seen by members of the public, if the judge or justice is of the opinion that such an order is in the interest of public morals, the maintenance of order or the proper administration of justice or is necessary to prevent injury to international relations or national defence or national security.
(1.1) The application may be made, during the proceedings, to the presiding judge or justice or, before the proceedings begin, to the judge or justice who will preside at the proceedings or, if that judge or justice has not been determined, to any judge or justice having jurisdiction in the judicial district where the proceedings will take place.
Marginal note:Factors to be considered
(2) In determining whether the order is in the interest of the proper administration of justice, the judge or justice shall consider
(a) society’s interest in encouraging the reporting of offences and the participation of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice process;
(b) the safeguarding of the interests of witnesses under the age of 18 years in all proceedings;
(c) the ability of the witness to give a full and candid account of the acts complained of if the order were not made;
(d) whether the witness needs the order for their security or to protect them from intimidation or retaliation;
(e) the protection of justice system participants who are involved in the proceedings;
(f) whether effective alternatives to the making of the proposed order are available in the circumstances;
(g) the salutary and deleterious effects of the proposed order; and
(h) any other factor that the judge or justice considers relevant.
Marginal note:Reasons to be stated
(3) If an accused is charged with an offence under section 151, 152, 153, 153.1 or 155, subsection 160(2) or (3) or section 163.1, 170, 171, 171.1, 172, 172.1, 172.2, 173, 271, 272, 273, 279.01, 279.011, 279.02, 279.03, 286.1, 286.2 or 286.3 and the prosecutor or the accused applies for an order under subsection (1), the judge or justice shall, if no such order is made, state, by reference to the circumstances of the case, the reason for not making an order.
Marginal note:No adverse inference
(4) No adverse inference may be drawn from the fact that an order is, or is not, made under this section.
- R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 486
- R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 14, c. 23 (4th Supp.), s. 1
- 1992, c. 1, s. 60(F), c. 21, s. 9
- 1993, c. 45, s. 7
- 1997, c. 16, s. 6
- 1999, c. 25, s. 2(Preamble)
- 2001, c. 32, s. 29, c. 41, ss. 16, 34, 133
- 2002, c. 13, s. 20
- 2005, c. 32, s. 15, c. 43, ss. 4, 8
- 2010, c. 3, s. 4
- 2012, c. 1, s. 28
- 2014, c. 25, s. 21
- 2015, c. 13, s. 13, c. 20, s. 21
- 2019, c. 25, s. 189
- Date modified: