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What Happened To Peremptory Jury Challenges In Canada?

I want to talk today a little bit about jury selection.  How that currently works in Canada, and the question that I pose, and that I am going to answer is, what happened to, what are called, “peremptory jury challenges” in Canada. First of all, let me describe, exactly what that is. Before September 19th this year (2019), parliament changed the law on that date by the way, when you are selecting a jury, both the crown and the defence, could challenge, without cause, for no reason, that is called peremptory, twelve of the jurors *each??* (*unsure of the word here). For example, there would be a panel of a couple hundred people. The judge would call forward people, and you could, as the accused at that juror, juror look at the accused. The judge would say, you know, “accused, look at the juror” and if the lawyer, didn’t want that person on the jury, the lawyer could just say “challenge”.  That person would no longer, what not be on the jury. You did this, this rotated between the accused and the crown. The crown had twelve challenges as well. Until you got a twelve member of the jury. There was a lot of talk about and this is very true, there was reports done by Justice Yacobucci, the former Supreme Court of Canada Justice, very esteemed, respected man, who did a report, that particularly in native, in Indigenous communities a lot of crowns and defence counsels, were simply challenging natives to not be on the jury, it wasn’t getting a representative jury, it wasn’t fair frankly. So they brought this in, and now you can’t challenge. You essentially have to accept, the people as they appear before the court. And I will explain another juror, in another video how this jury selection works but the bottom line, is peremptory jury challenges are no longer allowed. In most trials you had twelve, of challenges in the past, in a murder trial you had twenty.  Now you have none. There are challenges, still for pre-trial publicity.  If there was extensive publicity in a case leading to potential bias, you could challenge potential jurors and ask questions, and as well, you could challenge for racial bias. For example, if the accused was native or a black accused, you could ask certain questions, so very different from U.S. jury selection. Our procedure is now very simple, and again, I will discuss this in a different video.

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