Can I have my criminal law trial in French?

These French language rights are available in all court proceedings, including your criminal or :

  • you're allowed to file your court documents in French
  • you have the right to ask the court to translate the Reasons for Judgement or any other document filed with the court into either French or English, at no cost to you

If you live in Ontario and speak French, you have the right to have your and trial in French. This means that the judge, the Crown , and the jury must be able to speak and understand French.

Your lawyer or paralegal if you have one, and the judge or the justice of the peace must tell you about your right to have your preliminary inquiry and trial in French.

If you want to have your trial in French, you must make an application. The deadline for filing your application depends on what you've be charged with and the court where your trial will be held. The deadline will be before your trial date.


You don't have an automatic right to get your in French. Disclosure is the and information that the police and Crown have about your case. But the court can order that some of your disclosure be translated at no cost to you to allow you to prepare and present your defence.

Other proceedings

Your right to have proceedings in French doesn't apply to other types of hearings such as hearings, first appearances, or guilty pleas. But, some courts do provide bail hearings and guilty pleas in French on request. For example, in Ottawa.

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