What is a preliminary inquiry?

3. Prepare for your preliminary inquiry

Before the , you or your lawyer must go to your Crown pre-trial meeting or judicial pre-trial meeting. At this meeting, you and the Crown decide which Crown witnesses will at the preliminary inquiry. Even if the Crown decides not to call a certain witness, you can ask for that witness to be called if you want to ask them questions. The Crown must make that witness available to answer your questions.

You usually don't call your own witnesses to give at a preliminary inquiry. This is because the purpose of the preliminary inquiry is for the Crown to convince the judge that there's some evidence that they can present in court that can be used to find you guilty.

You must file a Statement of Issues with the if you haven't already done so. The Statement of Issues is a court form that lists:

  • the Crown witnesses you want to hear from, and
  • the issues you want to hear evidence about.

The number of witnesses determines how much time the preliminary inquiry takes.

Review disclosure

You or your lawyer should review your . Your disclosure includes things like police reports, and any statements a witness made to the police.

This can help you decide which Crown witnesses you want to question. It also gives you an idea about what the witnesses are likely to say and help you prepare questions to ask them at the preliminary inquiry.

Make a list of questions for each witness

Think about the questions you want to ask each of the Crown witnesses who will be testifying at your preliminary inquiry. The goals of your questions are to:

  • understand what the witness said happened,
  • clarify any details that are different from the statements they gave to the police, and
  • ask questions that help you support the arguments you want to make at

It's important to ask questions that will help you to better understand the details of a witness' so that you're not surprised with new information at trial.

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