Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Search

Canada Evidence Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-5)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2020-03-05 and last amended on 2019-07-12. Previous Versions

Part I (continued)

Oaths and Solemn Affirmations

Marginal note:Who may administer oaths

 Every court and judge, and every person having, by law or consent of parties, authority to hear and receive evidence, has power to administer an oath to every witness who is legally called to give evidence before that court, judge or person.

  • R.S., c. E-10, s. 13

Marginal note:Solemn affirmation by witness instead of oath

  •  (1) A person may, instead of taking an oath, make the following solemn affirmation:

    I solemnly affirm that the evidence to be given by me shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

  • Marginal note:Effect

    (2) Where a person makes a solemn affirmation in accordance with subsection (1), his evidence shall be taken and have the same effect as if taken under oath.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-5, s. 14
  • 1994, c. 44, s. 87

Marginal note:Solemn affirmation by deponent

  •  (1) Where a person who is required or who desires to make an affidavit or deposition in a proceeding or on an occasion on which or concerning a matter respecting which an oath is required or is lawful, whether on the taking of office or otherwise, does not wish to take an oath, the court or judge, or other officer or person qualified to take affidavits or depositions, shall permit the person to make a solemn affirmation in the words following, namely, “I, blank line, do solemnly affirm, etc.”, and that solemn affirmation has the same force and effect as if that person had taken an oath.

  • Marginal note:Effect

    (2) Any witness whose evidence is admitted or who makes a solemn affirmation under this section or section 14 is liable to indictment and punishment for perjury in all respects as if he had been sworn.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-5, s. 15
  • 1994, c. 44, s. 88

Marginal note:Witness whose capacity is in question

  •  (1) If a proposed witness is a person of fourteen years of age or older whose mental capacity is challenged, the court shall, before permitting the person to give evidence, conduct an inquiry to determine

    • (a) whether the person understands the nature of an oath or a solemn affirmation; and

    • (b) whether the person is able to communicate the evidence.

  • Marginal note:Testimony under oath or solemn affirmation

    (2) A person referred to in subsection (1) who understands the nature of an oath or a solemn affirmation and is able to communicate the evidence shall testify under oath or solemn affirmation.

  • Marginal note:Testimony on promise to tell truth

    (3) A person referred to in subsection (1) who does not understand the nature of an oath or a solemn affirmation but is able to communicate the evidence may, notwithstanding any provision of any Act requiring an oath or a solemn affirmation, testify on promising to tell the truth.

  • Marginal note:No questions regarding understanding of promise

    (3.1) A person referred to in subsection (3) shall not be asked any questions regarding their understanding of the nature of the promise to tell the truth for the purpose of determining whether their evidence shall be received by the court.

  • Marginal note:Inability to testify

    (4) A person referred to in subsection (1) who neither understands the nature of an oath or a solemn affirmation nor is able to communicate the evidence shall not testify.

  • Marginal note:Burden as to capacity of witness

    (5) A party who challenges the mental capacity of a proposed witness of fourteen years of age or more has the burden of satisfying the court that there is an issue as to the capacity of the proposed witness to testify under an oath or a solemn affirmation.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-5, s. 16
  • R.S., 1985, c. 19 (3rd Supp.), s. 18
  • 1994, c. 44, s. 89
  • 2005, c. 32, s. 26
  • 2015, c. 13, s. 53

Marginal note:Person under fourteen years of age

  •  (1) A person under fourteen years of age is presumed to have the capacity to testify.

  • Marginal note:No oath or solemn affirmation

    (2) A proposed witness under fourteen years of age shall not take an oath or make a solemn affirmation despite a provision of any Act that requires an oath or a solemn affirmation.

  • Marginal note:Evidence shall be received

    (3) The evidence of a proposed witness under fourteen years of age shall be received if they are able to understand and respond to questions.

  • Marginal note:Burden as to capacity of witness

    (4) A party who challenges the capacity of a proposed witness under fourteen years of age has the burden of satisfying the court that there is an issue as to the capacity of the proposed witness to understand and respond to questions.

  • Marginal note:Court inquiry

    (5) If the court is satisfied that there is an issue as to the capacity of a proposed witness under fourteen years of age to understand and respond to questions, it shall, before permitting them to give evidence, conduct an inquiry to determine whether they are able to understand and respond to questions.

  • Marginal note:Promise to tell truth

    (6) The court shall, before permitting a proposed witness under fourteen years of age to give evidence, require them to promise to tell the truth.

  • Marginal note:Understanding of promise

    (7) No proposed witness under fourteen years of age shall be asked any questions regarding their understanding of the nature of the promise to tell the truth for the purpose of determining whether their evidence shall be received by the court.

  • Marginal note:Effect

    (8) For greater certainty, if the evidence of a witness under fourteen years of age is received by the court, it shall have the same effect as if it were taken under oath.

  • 2005, c. 32, s. 27

Judicial Notice

Marginal note:Imperial Acts, etc.

 Judicial notice shall be taken of all Acts of the Imperial Parliament, of all ordinances made by the Governor in Council, or the lieutenant governor in council of any province or colony that, or some portion of which, now forms or hereafter may form part of Canada, and of all the Acts of the legislature of any such province or colony, whether enacted before or after the passing of the Constitution Act, 1867.

  • R.S., c. E-10, s. 17

Marginal note:Acts of Canada

 Judicial notice shall be taken of all Acts of Parliament, public or private, without being specially pleaded.

  • R.S., c. E-10, s. 18

Documentary Evidence

Marginal note:Copies by Queen’s Printer

 Every copy of any Act of Parliament, public or private, published by the Queen’s Printer, is evidence of that Act and of its contents, and every copy purporting to be published by the Queen’s Printer shall be deemed to be so published, unless the contrary is shown.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-5, s. 19
  • 2000, c. 5, s. 52

Marginal note:Imperial proclamations, etc.

 Imperial proclamations, orders in council, treaties, orders, warrants, licences, certificates, rules, regulations or other Imperial official records, Acts or documents may be proved

  • (a) in the same manner as they may from time to time be provable in any court in England;

  • (b) by the production of a copy of the Canada Gazette, or a volume of the Acts of Parliament purporting to contain a copy of the same or a notice thereof; or

  • (c) by the production of a copy of them purporting to be published by the Queen’s Printer.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-5, s. 20
  • 2000, c. 5, s. 53

Marginal note:Proclamations, etc., of Governor General

 Evidence of any proclamation, order, regulation or appointment, made or issued by the Governor General or by the Governor in Council, or by or under the authority of any minister or head of any department of the Government of Canada and evidence of a treaty to which Canada is a party, may be given in all or any of the following ways:

  • (a) by the production of a copy of the Canada Gazette, or a volume of the Acts of Parliament purporting to contain a copy of the treaty, proclamation, order, regulation or appointment, or a notice thereof;

  • (b) by the production of a copy of the proclamation, order, regulation or appointment, purporting to be published by the Queen’s Printer;

  • (c) by the production of a copy of the treaty purporting to be published by the Queen’s Printer;

  • (d) by the production, in the case of any proclamation, order, regulation or appointment made or issued by the Governor General or by the Governor in Council, of a copy or extract purporting to be certified to be true by the clerk or assistant or acting clerk of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada; and

  • (e) by the production, in the case of any order, regulation or appointment made or issued by or under the authority of any minister or head of a department of the Government of Canada, of a copy or extract purporting to be certified to be true by the minister, by his deputy or acting deputy, or by the secretary or acting secretary of the department over which he presides.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-5, s. 21
  • 2000, c. 5, s. 54
 
Date modified: