Can I have my criminal law trial in French?New

3. Understand what happens if your application is late

If you make your application to have the in French late, it is up to the judge to decide whether you will have a French or bilingual trial using the “best interests of justice” test.

The judge will look reasons for your delay including things like:

  • when you were made aware of your right to a trial in French
  • whether you waived the right and later changed your mind
  • why you changed your mind
  • whether you changed your mind because of difficulties during the proceedings

The judge will then look at factors related to the trial, such as:

  • whether you have a lawyer
  • the language in which the is available
  • the language of witnesses
  • whether a jury has been selected
  • whether witnesses have already testified
  • whether witnesses are still available
  • whether proceedings can continue in a different language without the need to start the trial over again
  • whether there are one or more
  • whether you’ve changed lawyers
  • the language spoken and understood by the current judge and Crown

Administrative inconvenience is not a relevant factor. This includes things like:

  • the availability of court reporters
  • the workload of the Crown
  • the workload of judges
  • additional costs of rescheduling
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