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Jurors can talk about trial with shrinks: new Criminal Code Amendment

By uLaw Editorial Team

The Criminal Code of Canada is being amended to allow jurors on criminal trials to talk about their experiences as jurors to medical practitioners.

Effective January 16th 2023, jurors are now being given an exception to a law which forbade disclosure of private jury proceedings. Those found guilty of privileged jury proceedings were punished on a summary conviction.

Previously, there were only a couple exceptions to the law in ss.2 of 646 Disclosure of jury proceedings. Those found guilty of this law were punished on a summary conviction, meaning that prior to this legal amendment. Now, in certain circumstances, it is permissible for a juror to disclose information when it involves healthcare professionals.

Sometimes jurors are negatively impacted due to the stress they're subjected to when going through jury deliberation. But due to the controversy and potential infringement on laws surrounding jurors, mental health professionals previously could have refused service to jurors for this reason.

The exception has an interesting caveat, specifying that this exception is only valid once the trial is over.

The new legal exception reads as follows: (c) any medical or psychiatric treatment or any therapy or counselling that a person referred to in subsection (1) receives from a health care professional after the completion of the trial in relation to health issues arising out of or related to the person’s service at the trial as a juror or as a person who provided support services to a juror.



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