Terms of Release (Until December 18, 2019)
Despite the presumption of innocence the court is entitled to deprive the accused of liberty before any findings of guilt.
The restrictions on liberty through bail may be made "in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice where there are reasonable grounds for doing so, rather than only after guilt has been established beyond a reasonable doubt."
The release powers of a Justice is given in sections 515(1) and (2) which state:
Issuance of a Release Order
The crown must establish the evidentiary basis that underlies the condition sought.
There must be some "real purpose" behind the imposition of the condition.
- Firearms Prohibition
Under s. 515(4.1), the court shall order a firearm prohibition on persons released for certain charges including:
- offences where violence is used, threatened, or attempted
- criminal harassment
- intimidation of a justice system participant
- terrorism offences
- certain firearms offences
- certain CDSA offences
- certain offences under Security of Information Act
Where the judge refuses to do so he must give reasons.(s. 515(4.12))
The court may order that that there be no contact with named individuals, if a person is ordered detained (s.515(12)) or remanded (s.516(2)). Note that these orders are not stand-alone orders and only last up until the next court appearance. Thus, it must be renewed at each time the matter is in court.
The purpose of "no contact" conditions prior to trial is to balance the right of the accused to be in the community and the right of the complainant or witnesses to privacy and safety.
R v Hill (1989), 9 WCB (2d) 3 (ONCJ)(*no CanLII links)
, per Greco J
R v Brown, 2000 NSCA 147 (CanLII), per Roscoe JA - re 515(12) orders
R v Kalashnikoff, 2004 CanLII 20454 (ONSC), ,  OJ No 113 (ONSC), per Pierce J - re 516(2) orders
see also Imprisonment#No Contact Orders while in Prison
R v JF,  O.J. No. 2054 (Ont. SCJ)(*no CanLII links)
, per Hill J
R v Lofstrom, 2016 ABPC 197 (CanLII), per Saccomani J, at para 92 ("the imposition of a “no contact” provision in a court order is intended to strike a balance by allowing an accused person to be in the community pending trial while providing complainant(s) with some measure of protection and reasonable assurance that their privacy and individual security concerns are not at risk.")
"Other Reasonable Conditions"
Section 515(4)(f) permits the court to impose “other reasonable conditions”.
The condition must relate "to a purpose which would otherwise justify the accused's pre-trial detention." which means they must relate to ensuring attendance in court, to the protection or safety of the public or to maintaining confidence in the administration of justice.
Where the offence involves the use of alcohol or the accused has a history of committing offences while intoxicated and there is a risk that further offences may be committed due to substance abuse, a condition requiring the accused to abstain from alcohol or intoxicating substances should be imposed. However, there is some suggestion that an alcoholic should not be put on unreasonable conditions to abstain entirely from alcohol.
R v Keenan, 1979 ABCA 278 (CanLII), 12 CR (3d) 135, per Lamer JA
R v Merasty, 2008 SKPC 28 (CanLII), per Kalenith J
- R v Peddle,  O.J. No.2116 (S.C.)(*no CanLII links) , at para 12
Runciman and Baker, "Final report on the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs" (June 2017), at p. 6
Mandatory Conditions for Certain Offences
Conditions on Terrorism-type Offences
Variation and Review of Conditions
The terms of a release order can be varied according to s. 523 (2) of the Code:
This section has been interpreted by most courts as meaning that a provincial court judge cannot vary the conditions on demand without the consent of the crown. A Superior Court judge, however, will have jurisdiction to change conditions on application.
See also 520, 521, 522, 524, 525.
- Effect of Variation of Undertaking or Recognizance