A. Introduction

Author:Steve Coughlan
Profession:Professor of Law. Dalhousie University

Page 164

Many aspects of criminal procedure are quite intricately linked. For example, laying of an information in front of a justice serves several distinct functions. It commences the prosecution and is the document upon which either a preliminary inquiry will be based or a summary conviction trial will be held. It is also the foundation for a variety of methods to compel an accused to appear and answer to the charges laid out in the information. Yet, that initial appearance will not actually be for a trial on the charges, so the question arises as to what will happen to the accused in the interim. Thus, the Criminal Code provisions that set out the methods to make an accused first appear and those that deal with releasing or holding the accused pending trial form a whole, and both appear in Part XVI, "Compelling Appearance of Accused Before a Justice and Interim Release."

The issues related to the content of charges and the preferring of charges for trial will be discussed in Chapter 11. This chapter deals only with the procedure by which those charges are first laid. The charge is the focal point for various forms of compelling the appearance of the accused in court, and determines issues of jurisdiction and many other features of pre-trial procedure.

Following the discussion of charges, we turn to the various mechanisms that may be used to compel the appearance of an accused person in court. The most obvious...

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