Marginal note:Testimony outside court room — witnesses under 18 or who have a disability
486.2 (1) Despite section 650, in any proceedings against an accused, the judge or justice shall, on application of the prosecutor in respect of a witness who is under the age of 18 years or who is able to communicate evidence but may have difficulty doing so by reason of a mental or physical disability, or on application of such a witness, order that the witness testify outside the court room or behind a screen or other device that would allow the witness not to see the accused, unless the judge or justice is of the opinion that the order would interfere with the proper administration of justice.
Marginal note:Other witnesses
(2) Despite section 650, in any proceedings against an accused, the judge or justice may, on application of the prosecutor in respect of a witness, or on application of a witness, order that the witness testify outside the court room or behind a screen or other device that would allow the witness not to see the accused if the judge or justice is of the opinion that the order would facilitate the giving of a full and candid account by the witness of the acts complained of or would otherwise be in the interest of the proper administration of justice.
(2.1) An application referred to in subsection (1) or (2) 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
(3) In determining whether to make an order under subsection (2), the judge or justice shall consider
(a) the age of the witness;
(b) the witness’ mental or physical disabilities, if any;
(c) the nature of the offence;
(d) the nature of any relationship between the witness and the accused;
(e) whether the witness needs the order for their security or to protect them from intimidation or retaliation;
(f) whether the order is needed to protect the identity of a peace officer who has acted, is acting or will be acting in an undercover capacity, or of a person who has acted, is acting or will be acting covertly under the direction of a peace officer;
(f.1) whether the order is needed to protect the witness’s identity if they have had, have or will have responsibilities relating to national security or intelligence;
(g) society’s interest in encouraging the reporting of offences and the participation of victims and witnesses in the criminal justice process; and
(h) any other factor that the judge or justice considers relevant.
Marginal note:Same procedure for determination
(4) If the judge or justice is of the opinion that it is necessary for a witness to testify in order to determine whether an order under subsection (2) should be made in respect of that witness, the judge or justice shall order that the witness testify in accordance with that subsection.
Marginal note:Conditions of exclusion
(5) A witness shall not testify outside the court room in accordance with an order made under subsection (1) or (2) unless arrangements are made for the accused, the judge or justice and the jury to watch the testimony of the witness by means of closed-circuit television or otherwise and the accused is permitted to communicate with counsel while watching the testimony.
Marginal note:No adverse inference
(6) No adverse inference may be drawn from the fact that an order is, or is not, made under subsection (1) or (2).
- 2005, c. 32, s. 15
- 2014, c. 17, s. 12
- 2015, c. 13, s. 15, c. 20, s. 38
- Date modified: