Statutory Publication Ban on Evidence

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General Principles

See also: Statutory Publication Ban on Court Proceedings

Publication Ban from a Show Cause Hearing

Under s. 517, an order may be made prohibiting the publication of any evidence heard during the show cause hearing:

Order directing matters not to be published for specified period

517 (1) If the prosecutor or the accused intends to show cause under section 515 [judicial interim release provisions], he or she shall so state to the justice and the justice may, and shall on application by the accused, before or at any time during the course of the proceedings under that section, make an order directing that the evidence taken, the information given or the representations made and the reasons, if any, given or to be given by the justice shall not be published in any document, or broadcast or transmitted in any way before such time as

(a) if a preliminary inquiry is held, the accused in respect of whom the proceedings are held is discharged; or
(b) if the accused in respect of whom the proceedings are held is tried or ordered to stand trial, the trial is ended.
Failure to comply

(2) Every one who fails without lawful excuse, the proof of which lies on him, to comply with an order made under subsection (1) [order directing matters not to be published for specified period] is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(3) [Repealed, 2005, c. 32, s. 17]
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 517; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 101(E); 2005, c. 32, s. 17.

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Note up: 517(1) and (2)

Publication of Preliminary Inquiry Evidence

See also: Preliminary Inquiry Evidence
Order restricting publication of evidence taken at preliminary inquiry

539 (1) Prior to the commencement of the taking of evidence at a preliminary inquiry, the justice holding the inquiry

(a) may, if application therefor is made by the prosecutor, and
(b) shall, if application therefor is made by any of the accused,

make an order directing that the evidence taken at the inquiry shall not be published in any document or broadcast or transmitted in any way before such time as, in respect of each of the accused,

(c) he or she is discharged, or
(d) if he or she is ordered to stand trial, the trial is ended.
Accused to be informed of right to apply for order

(2) Where an accused is not represented by counsel at a preliminary inquiry, the justice holding the inquiry shall, prior to the commencement of the taking of evidence at the inquiry, inform the accused of his right to make application under subsection (1) [publication ban of preliminary inquiry evidence].

Failure to comply with order

(3) Every one who fails to comply with an order made pursuant to subsection (1) [publication ban of preliminary inquiry evidence] is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(4) [Repealed, 2005, c. 32, s. 18]
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 539; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 97; 2005, c. 32, s. 18.
[annotation(s) added]

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Note up: 539(1), (2) and (3)

Only the preliminary judge who is going to hear evidence has jurisdiction to impose a publication ban, other judges are not permitted.[1]

  1. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation v Rae, 2010 ABQB 148 (CanLII), per Thomas J

Publication of Trial Evidence in Jury Trial

Section 648 prohibits the publication of any part of trial proceedings that take place without the jury present.

Restriction on publication

648 (1) After permission to separate is given to members of a jury under subsection 647(1) [jurors may separate until deliberation], no information regarding any portion of the trial at which the jury is not present shall be published in any document or broadcast or transmitted in any way before the jury retires to consider its verdict.

Offence

(2) Every one who fails to comply with subsection (1) [restriction on publication of trial proceedings without jury present] is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.
(3) [Repealed, 2005, c. 32, s. 21]

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 648; 2005, c. 32, s. 21.

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Note up: 648(1) and (2)