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Canadian Courts and Criminal Trial Procedures - Essay Example

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Canadian Courts and Criminal Trial Procedures

This fact has been affirmed by extensive research conducted by many organizations. The Law reforms commission of Canada addressed the jury selection process in its 1980 working paper The Jury in Criminal trials, and its 1982 Report, The jury. The Commissions basic conclusion was that no drastic revision of the process was called for (Granger, 153). "There is a good reason historic, political, intellectual, and pragmatic - to retain the jury system" (Law reforms commission of Canada) Furthermore, the protocols established through common law nullify the possibility of bias being induced into jurors. In R. v. Caldough, it was established that, any communications with jurors are to be considered an interference with justice (Granger, 157). This was further expanded on in R. v. Papineau, where the court ruled that such conduct was to be considered contempt of court, and obstruction of justice (Schreck, Web Source)
These rules apply whether the juror has been sworn, discharged, or whether the prospective juror has just merely been summoned to serve. A violation of the rule can result in discharge, of the juror, a mistrial, a citation for contempt of court, or a criminal charge (Granger, 157). Also, "a juror must not only be impartial, but manifestly be seen to be impartial" (Granger, 158). These various protocols, while observed by some as extreme, ensure that jurors remain unbiased, and as such, provide the accused with a fair trial. Supplementing these protocols, counsels have the ability to ensure that the entire jury panel or individual jurors do not have predispositions on the case. Firstly, they can remove jurors that have been influenced by the media.
The [counsel] may [also] challenge the jury panel only on the ground of partiality, fraud or willful misconduct on the part of the sheriff or other officer by whom the panel was returned. (C. C. C, s. 629(1)) Counsel can also challenge any number of individual jurors on grounds that the juror(s) is not indifferent between the crown and the defense, has been convicted of an offence, is an alien, is unable to, even with the services provided under section 627, perform properly the duties of a juror (C. C. C, s. 638(1)). Therefore, the presence of these procedures and protocols, prior to, during, and after the jury selection process, ensure that juries are as neutral as possible, and as such provide the fairest trial achievable to the accused.
The jury system and trials by juries provide protections to numerous aspects of the Canadian justice system. Firstly, they provide Canadian citizens with protection against arbitrary and oppressive laws and law enforcement (Granger, 8), and in the process, help us make better laws that further promote peace and order. "Juries have been argued to be a check on the power of government, represented by prosecutors and judges" (Barro, 20). Jurors are a representation of the wants of the citizens, and as such, their findings in cases often encompass what the society expects from the law. In other words, they help bring what the common citizen wants from the laws, to the laws. Secondly, jury trials ensure us our civil liberties and fundamental freedoms ...Show more


The history of criminal law is comprised of an abundance of issues. The concept, origin, and development of law all exemplify the indigenous character of criminal law. It is very fortunate that Canada has had the opportunity to model off of other various governments and criminal justice systems…
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Canadian Courts and Criminal Trial Procedures
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