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Report No. 200

(F) Canada: 'arrest' is given importance

In Canada, according to Stuart M. Robertson, Courts and the Media (1981) Butterworth,Toronto) p 48 (quoted by Borrie and Lowe, 3 rd Ed, 1999, p 249) it is stated that the 'sub judice' rule begins to apply when the court obtains jurisdiction over the matter

"and in criminal cases, that is when information is sworn before a Justice of the Peace upon which either a summons or warrant is issued or where a person is arrested by a police officer."

Canadian Law Reform Commission: refers to 'arrest':

The Canadian Law Reforms Commission (1977, Working Paper, No.20, p 44 & 1982 Report No.17, p 44, 54-6) was also impressed by the need for certainty but it too rejected the Phillmore Committee recommendations and proposed instead that the sub judice period must begin at the moment an information is laid (i.e. first information report). The Australian Law Reforms Commission (Report No. 35, para 296) recommended that contempt should apply from the time when a warrant for arrest has been issued, a person has been arrested without warrant, or charges have been laid, whichever is the earliest.

However, it also recommended that if a person 'implicated' in a publication at an earlier point acted with the intention of prejudicing the relevant trial, so as to amount to an attempt to prevent the course of justice, he should be liable to be prosecuted for that offence under Section 43 of the Crimes Act, 1914) (Cmth). This has echos of the position reached in the United Kingdom after Contempt of Court Act,1981.

We have already referred to the views of the New South Wales Law Commission in the previous Chapter.

Trial by Media free speech and fair trial under Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 Back

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