Section 39.1 Canadian Evidence Act 1985

OTHER CANADIAN LAWS 1. Short title. 2. Application. 3. Interest or crime. 4. Accused and spouse. 5. Incriminating questions. 6. Evidence of person with physical disability. 6.1 Identification of accused. 7. Expert witnesses. 8. Handwriting comparison. 9. Adverse witnesses. 10. Cross-examination as to previous statements. 11. Cross-examination as to previous oral statements. 12. Examination as to previous convictions. 13. Who may administer oaths. 14. Solemn affirmation by witness instead of oath. 15. Solemn affirmation by deponent. 16. Witness whose capacity is in question. 16.1 Person under fourteen years of age. 17. Imperial Acts, etc. 18. Acts of Canada. 19. Copies by Queen’s Printer. 20. Imperial proclamations, etc. 21. Proclamations, etc., of Governor General. 22. Proclamations, etc., of lieutenant governor. 23. Evidence of judicial proceedings, etc. 24. Certified copies. 25. Books and documents. 26. Books kept in offices under Government of Canada. 27. Notarial acts in Quebec. 28. Notice of production of book or document. 29. Copies of entries. 30. Business records to be admitted in evidence. 31. Definitions. 31.1 Authentication of electronic documents. 31.2 Application of best evidence rule — electronic documents. 31.3 Presumption of integrity. 31.4 Presumptions regarding secure electronic signatures. 31.5 Standards may be considered. 31.6 Proof by affidavit. 31.7 Application. 31.8 Definitions. 32. Order signed by Secretary of State. 33. Proof of handwriting of person certifying. 34. Attesting witness. 35. Impounding of forged instrument. 36. Construction. 36.1 Definition of official. 37. Objection to disclosure of information. 37.1 Appeal to court of appeal. 37.2 Limitation periods for appeals to Supreme Court of Canada. 37.21 [Repealed, 2004, c. 12, s. 18] 37.3 Protection of right to a fair trial. 38. Definitions. 38.01 Notice to Attorney General of Canada. 38.02 Disclosure prohibited. 38.03 Authorization by Attorney General of Canada. 38.031 Disclosure agreement. 38.04 Application to Federal Court — Attorney General of Canada. 38.05 Report relating to proceedings. 38.06 Disclosure order. 38.07 Notice of order. 38.08 Automatic review. 38.09 Appeal to Federal Court of Appeal. 38.1 Limitation periods for appeals to Supreme Court of Canada. 38.11 Special rules — hearing in private. 38.12 Protective order. 38.13 Certificate of Attorney General of Canada. 38.131 Application for review of certificate. 38.14 Protection of right to a fair trial. 38.15 Fiat. 38.16 Regulations. 38.17 Annual report. 39. Objection relating to a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council. 39.1 Definitions. 40. How applicable. 41. Solemn declaration. 42. Affidavits, etc. 43. Foreign courts. 44. Definitions. 45. Construction. 46. Order for examination of witness in Canada. 47. Enforcement of the order. 48. Expenses and conduct money. 49. Administering oath. 50. Right of refusal to answer or produce document. 51. Rules of court. 52. Application of this Part. 53. Oaths taken abroad. 54. Documents to be admitted in evidence. SCHEDULE – Designated Entities

Section 39.1 Canadian Evidence Act

Section 39.1 Canadian Evidence Act 1985 is about Definitions. It is under Journalistic Sources of Part I of the act.


(1) The following definitions apply in this section.

document has the same meaning as in section 487.011 of the Criminal Code. (document)

journalist means a person whose main occupation is to contribute directly, either regularly or occasionally, for consideration, to the collection, writing or production of information for dissemination by the media, or anyone who assists such a person. (journaliste)

journalistic source means a source that confidentially transmits information to a journalist on the journalist’s undertaking not to divulge the identity of the source, whose anonymity is essential to the relationship between the journalist and the source. (source journalistique)


(2) Subject to subsection (7), a journalist may object to the disclosure of information or a document before a court, person or body with the authority to compel the disclosure of information on the grounds that the information or document identifies or is likely to identify a journalistic source.

Former journalist

(3) For the purposes of subsections (2) and (7), journalist includes an individual who was a journalist when information that identifies or is likely to identify the journalistic source was transmitted to that individual.

Power of court, person or body

(4) The court, person or body may raise the application of subsection (2) on their own initiative.

Objection of court, person or body

(5) When an objection or the application of subsection (2) is raised, the court, person or body shall ensure that the information or document is not disclosed other than in accordance with this section.


(6) Before determining the question, the court, person or body must give the parties and interested persons a reasonable opportunity to present observations.


(7) The court, person or body may authorize the disclosure of information or a document only if they consider that

(a) the information or document cannot be produced in evidence by any other reasonable means; and
(b) the public interest in the administration of justice outweighs the public interest in preserving the confidentiality of the journalistic source, having regard to, among other things,

(i) the importance of the information or document to a central issue in the proceeding,
(ii) freedom of the press, and
(iii) the impact of disclosure on the journalistic source and the journalist.


(8) An authorization under subsection (7) may contain any conditions that the court, person or body considers appropriate to protect the identity of the journalistic source.

Burden of proof

(9) A person who requests the disclosure has the burden of proving that the conditions set out in subsection (7) are fulfilled.


(10) An appeal lies from a determination under subsection (7)

(a) to the Federal Court of Appeal from a determination of the Federal Court;
(b) to the court of appeal of a province from a determination of a superior court of the province;

(c) to the Federal Court from a determination of a court, person or body vested with power to compel production by or under an Act of Parliament if the court, person or body is not established under a law of a province; or
(d) to the trial division or trial court of the superior court of the province within which the court, person or body exercises its jurisdiction, in any other case.

Limitation period for appeal

(11) An appeal under subsection (10) shall be brought within 10 days after the date of the determination appealed from or within any further time that the court having jurisdiction to hear the appeal considers appropriate in the circumstances.

Hearing in summary way

(12) An appeal under subsection (10) shall be heard and determined without delay and in a summary way.

See also:

Section 39 Canadian Evidence Act (Objection relating to a confidence of the Queen’s Privy Council)

Section 38.17 Canadian Evidence Act (Annual report)

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