551.7 Decision whether to hold joint hearing

Decision whether to hold joint hearing

551.7 (1) If an issue referred to in any of subparagraphs 551.3(1)(g)(i) to (iii) is to be adjudicated in related trials that are to be or are being held in the same province before a court of the same jurisdiction, the Chief Justice or the Chief Judge of that court or his or her designate may, on application by the prosecutor or the accused or on his or her own motion, determine if it is in the interests of justice, including ensuring consistent decisions, to adjudicate that issue at a joint hearing for some or all of those trials.

Considerations

(2) To make the determination, the Chief Justice or the Chief Judge or his or her designate

(a) shall take into account, among other considerations, the degree to which the evidence relating to the issue is similar in the related trials; and

(b) may order that a conference between the prosecutor and the accused or counsel for the accused or a hearing be held.

Order for joint hearing

(3) If the Chief Justice or the Chief Judge or his or her designate determines that it is in the interests of justice to adjudicate the issue at a joint hearing for some or all of the related trials, he or she shall issue an order

(a) declaring that a joint hearing be held to adjudicate the issue in the related trials that he or she specifies;

(b) naming the parties who are to appear at the hearing;

(c) appointing a judge to adjudicate the issue; and

(d) designating the territorial division in which the hearing is to be held, if the trials are being held in different territorial divisions.

Limitation - indictable offence

(4) However, the order may only be made in respect of a trial for an indictable offence, other than a trial before a provincial court judge, if the indictment has been preferred.
Order in court record and transmission to parties

(5) The Chief Justice or the Chief Judge or his or her designate shall cause a copy of the order to be included in the court record of each of the trials specified in the order and to be provided to each of the parties named in it.

Transmission of court record

(6) If one of the specified trials is being held in a territorial division other than the one in which the joint hearing will be held, the officer in that territorial division who has custody of the indictment or information and the writings relating to the trial shall, when he or she receives the order, transmit the indictment or information and the writings without delay to the clerk of the court before which the joint hearing is to be held.

Order to appear at joint hearing

(7) The judge appointed under the order shall require the parties who are named in it to appear at the joint hearing.

Removal of prisoner

(8) The order made under subsection (2) or (3) is sufficient warrant, justification and authority to all sheriffs, keepers of prisons and peace officers for an accused's removal, disposal and reception in accordance with the terms of the order, and the sheriff may appoint and authorize any peace officer to convey the accused to a prison for the territorial division in which the hearing, as the case may be, is to be held.

Powers of judge

(9) The judge appointed under the order may, as a trial judge and for the purpose of adjudicating the issue at the joint hearing, exercise the powers of a trial judge.
Adjudication at trial

(10) When the judge adjudicates the issue, he or she is doing so at trial.
Decision in court records and return of documents

(11) Once the judge has adjudicated the issue, he or she shall cause his or her decision, with reasons, to be included in the court record of each of the related trials in respect of which the joint hearing was held and, in the case of a trial for which an indictment, information or writings were transmitted by an officer under subsection (6), the judge shall have the documents returned to the officer.

2011, c. 16, s. 4.

Criminal Code of Canada