Arrest Warrants for Witnesses

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General Principles

See also: Warrant Arrests

Subpoena
698 (1) Where a person is likely to give material evidence in a proceeding to which this Act applies, a subpoena may be issued in accordance with this Part requiring that person to attend to give evidence.

Warrant in Form 17
(2) Where it is made to appear that a person who is likely to give material evidence

(a) will not attend in response to a subpoena if a subpoena is issued, or
(b) is evading service of a subpoena,

a court, justice or provincial court judge having power to issue a subpoena to require the attendance of that person to give evidence may issue a warrant in Form 17 to cause that person to be arrested and to be brought to give evidence.

Subpoena issued first
(3) Except where paragraph (2)(a) applies, a warrant in Form 17 shall not be issued unless a subpoena has first been issued.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 698; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203.


CCC

Warrant for absconding witness
704 (1) Where a person is bound by recognizance to give evidence in any proceedings, a justice who is satisfied on information being made before him in writing and under oath that the person is about to abscond or has absconded may issue his warrant in Form 18 directing a peace officer to arrest that person and to bring him before the court, judge, justice or provincial court judge before whom he is bound to appear.
Endorsement of warrant
(2) Section 528 applies, with such modifications as the circumstances require, to a warrant issued under this section.
Copy of information
(3) A person who is arrested under this section is entitled, on request, to receive a copy of the information on which the warrant for his arrest was issued.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 704; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203.


Warrant when witness does not attend
705 (1) Where a person who has been served with a subpoena to give evidence in a proceeding does not attend or remain in attendance, the court, judge, justice or provincial court judge before whom that person was required to attend may, if it is established

(a) that the subpoena has been served in accordance with this Part, and
(b) that the person is likely to give material evidence,

issue or cause to be issued a warrant in Form 17 for the arrest of that person.
Warrant where witness bound by recognizance
(2) Where a person who has been bound by a recognizance to attend to give evidence in any proceeding does not attend or does not remain in attendance, the court, judge, justice or provincial court judge before whom that person was bound to attend may issue or cause to be issued a warrant in Form 17 for the arrest of that person.
Warrant effective throughout Canada
(3) A warrant that is issued by a justice or provincial court judge pursuant to subsection (1) or (2) may be executed anywhere in Canada.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 705; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203.


Order where witness arrested under warrant
706 Where a person is brought before a court, judge, justice or provincial court judge under a warrant issued pursuant to subsection 698(2) or section 704 or 705, the court, judge, justice or provincial court judge may order that the person

(a) be detained in custody, or
(b) be released on recognizance in Form 32, with or without sureties,

to appear and give evidence when required.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 706; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203.


Where the applicant fails to establish how the witness' evidence is material the judge should not issue a witness warrant.[1]

  1. R v Kinzie, [1956] O.W.N. 896 (Ont. C.A.)(*no link)
    R v Darville (1956), 116 C.C.C. 113 (S.C.C.)
    Foley v Gares (1989), 1989 CanLII 5134 (SK CA), 53 C.C.C. (3d) 82 (Sask. C.A.)
    R. v Singh (1990), 1990 CanLII 5684 (AB QB), 108 A.R. 233 (Alta. Q.B.)