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Criminal trial

Criminal trial



Description: This activity explains the roles of the various people involved in a criminal trial and the steps in this process. The activity starts by giving some background information on the ...

Description: This activity explains the roles of the various people involved in a criminal trial and the steps in this process. The activity starts by giving some background information on the Canadian legal system.

This activity can be used in tandem with the activity “Careers in Justice”.

Target Audience: High school students



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    Criminal trial Criminal trial Presentation Transcript

    • © 2012. These materials are the exclusive property of Éducaloi. Teachers in Quebec schools may use themfor non-commercial educational purposes. The documents must be used in their original form withoutmodification. July 17, 2012Note that the law is constantly evolving. These documents were last updated July 1st, 2012.
    • . Did you say Éducaloi? MISSION Éducaloi is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inform Quebecers of their rights and obligations by providing quality legal information in everyday language. NEUTRALITÉ www.educaloi.qc.ca COLLABORATION
    • ONCE UPON A TIME… IN CANADA Canada was a colony of France from the time it was discovered up until 1760. Then it changed hands and became a British colony. The country was then separated into Upper Canada and Lower Canada (now the territories of Ontario and Quebec). One hundred years later, a new country was created. It included what had been Upper and Lower Canada, and the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. However, people in the regions that came together to form the new country wanted to make sure they would still have their say. They wanted to control what happened in their territories. This is why they asked for the newly-created Canada to be a F E D E R A L state.
    • THE CANADIAN FEDERAL SYSTEM The federal system allowed the different parts of Canada to combine their strengths, while maintaining some of their distinctiveness. How ? 1. Power is divided between the central federal government and the government of each province. 2. Each government is independent and has control over certain areas. Today, Canada is a state made up of a central federal government in Ottawa, 10 provincial governments and three territorial governments.
    • DIVISION OF POWERS For example, the federal government can make laws in these areas: Criminal law Employment insurance Copyright Banking law Each provincial government can make laws in these areas: Education Wills and inheritances Health Municipal law
    • TWO LANGUAGES…TWO LEGAL TRADITIONS!When the British wanted to apply English law throughout thecolony of Canada, the French Canadians disagreed. They wereattached to the French legal tradition. The British authorities made a compromise: for civil law, the rules of the French legal tradition would apply. For criminal law, English law would apply. This explains why our justice system is still based on two legal traditions.
    • WHAT IS CRIMINAL LAW? … an area of law that deals with harmful conduct that needs to be punished, either because it is dangerous, or because it is judged to be unacceptable in our society.… a set of rules to … the Criminal Code andprotect the public and certain other laws:preserve shared values. the Firearms Act, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, etc. CRIMINAL LAW IS... … usually, a court case by the State against a … a type of law that was inspired person who has broken the law. by the British system.
    • WHAT IS CIVIL LAW? … the law that applies to relations … rules found mainly in the between people (family, Civil Code of Québec. property, inheritances, etc.) CIVIL LAW IS... LAW IS… … a law specific to Québec that is … a type of law inspired by not used in the other the law of France. provinces.
    • THE CROWN PROSECUTOR The Crown prosecutor is the lawyer who presents the case on behalf of the State against the person accused of a crime. She must prove that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This lawyer’s exact title is “criminal and penal prosecutor”.
    • DID YOU KNOW THAT…The Crown prosecutor’s priority is touncover the truth, not to win the case atall costs. There are roughly 300 Crown prosecutors in Quebec.
    • QUIZWho do Crown prosecutors work for?
    • QUIZWho do Crown prosecutors work for? Answer: the Ministry of Justice
    • THE DEFENSE LAWYER The defence lawyer defends the accused. His role is to defend the accused using the evidence. He tries to raise doubts in the minds of the judge or jury, so that they will find his client not guilty.
    • DID YOU KNOW THAT… After being arrested, everyone has the right to contact a lawyer.Since the police make arrests both during the dayand at night, many defence lawyers makethemselves available at all hours to answer clients’questions and give them advice.
    • THE ACCUSED The accused is the person suspected of committing a crime. The accused is assumed to be innocent until proved guilty. In other words, the accused is innocent until the Crown prosecutor proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crime.
    • THE WITNESS A witness knows about certain facts regarding the crime. The lawyers for the two sides of the case can ask him to come to court to explain what he knows, what he saw and what he heard.
    • DID YOU KNOW THAT…A “subpoena” (an official document delivered by a bailiff) isused to ask a witness to appear before the judge at a certaintime. If the person does not come to court, an arrest warrantcan be issued to bring him before the judge. Married people cannot be forced to be witnesses against each other, except in these situations: one of them filed the complaint, it is a case of sexual abuse or the victim is a child. Also, a married person cannot be forced to reveal information his or her partner shared during the marriage.
    • QUIZIf a witness is called away from home for five hours or more to testify, how much compensation does she get?
    • QUIZIf a witness is called away from home for five hours or more to testify, how much compensation does she get? Answer: $90
    • THE JUDGE The judge is the person in charge in court. She is the chief organizer of the trial. She must follow the rules of evidence and explain legal ideas to the jury.
    • DID YOU KNOW THAT…On top of all the judges working in municipal courts,Quebec has over 460 judges who sit on the Court ofAppeal, the Superior Court and the Court of Quebec. To become a judge, a person must have been a lawyer for at least 10 years.
    • THE MEMBERS OF THE JURY The members of the jury are citizens given the serious responsibility of deciding whether the accused is guilty or not at the end of the trial. The jury’s decision must address each crime the accused in charged with and be unanimous (everyone must agree).
    • Did You Know That…Jurors are chosen from the list of people with theright to vote in elections. If members of the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, a new trial will be ordered.Not all crimes will go before a jury.Automatically before a jury > murder, high treason,piracy. (Unless the Crown and the accused agree not tohave a jury.)Never before a jury > theft or fraud under $5,000. For other crimes, the accused can choose whether to go before a jury.
    • QUIZHow many people sit on a jury?
    • QUIZHow many people sit on a jury? Answer: 12
    • THE COURT CLERK The clerk writes down everything said at the trial. She also asks witnesses to take an oath or promise to tell the truth.
    • THE COURT USHER The court usher prepares the courtroom and maintains order and proper behaviour during the trial. When the judge arrives, he asks people to be quiet and says the famous line: “The court is now in session.”.
    • THE SPECIAL CONSTABLE The special constable is a full-fledged police officer. She even carries a gun on her belt. Her role is generally to watch over what happens and maintain order. She makes sure that rules are respected in the courtroom.
    • STEPS IN A CRIMINAL TRIALStep #1: Overview of the CaseBefore presenting evidence or calling witnesses, the Crown prosecutorand the defence lawyer each present a summary of the case. In legallanguage this is called presenting the “theory of the case.”Like the introduction of an essay, the theory of the case lets a lawyerprovide an overview of the arguments he will use and conclusions hewould like the court to draw.
    • STEPS IN A CRIMINAL TRIAL Step # 2: The Crown’s Proof Since the Crown has the burden of proving that the accused is guilty, the Crown prosecutor is the first to call her witnesses and ask them questions.
    • STEPS IN A CRIMINAL TRIAL Step # 3: Cross-Examination by the Defence Each witness is then cross-examined (questioned) by the defence lawyer. The defence lawyer tries to highlight parts of the testimony of a witness that are favourable to his client, or to show that that the witness has contradicted himself or not told the truth.
    • STEPS IN A CRIMINAL TRIAL Steps 2 and 3 are then repeated for each witness who testifies for the Crown.
    • STEPS IN A CRIMINAL TRIAL Step # 4: Proof of the Defence (if there is any) Once the Crown has presented all her witnesses, the accused will decide (with his lawyer) if he wants to present his own witnesses and testify himself. Since it is the Crown that must prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the accused is not required to present witnesses or testify himself.
    • STEPS IN A CRIMINAL TRIAL Step # 5: Cross-Examination by the Crown Each witness is then cross-examined by the Crown prosecutor, who tries to draw attention to parts of the testimony that go against the accused, and to any contradictions or lies in the testimony.
    • STEPS IN A CRIMINAL TRIAL Step # 6: Closing Arguments At the end of the trial, both sides makes closing arguments. In the arguments, they try to draw the jury’s attention to important facts of the case. The arguments are a little bit like a conclusion. The lawyers must summarize everything that went on during the trial and highlight what was favourable to their sides.
    • STEPS IN A CRIMINAL TRIAL Step # 7: Deliberation and Verdict The jury meets, discusses and decides whether or not the accused is guilty. The jury foreman (head juror) then announces the verdict (decision) to the court.
    • - THE END -