This enactment would amend the Criminal Code and make consequential and related amendments to certain other Acts, to implement proposals aimed at improving diverse aspects of the administration of criminal justice. The proposals originate from the Criminal Law Section of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, the former Law Reform Commission of Canada, various judges, members of the bar and federal and provincial departments and officials.

The amendments to the Criminal Code are mostly procedural. Some amendments affect evidentiary provisions. Others relate to specific provisions such as those dealing with impaired driving, mental disorder, proceeds of crime and search and seizure, including the control of seized property. Among the procedural changes are matters relating to police and other law enforcement officials concerning arrest and interim release, swearing informations, obtaining summonses and serving documents associated with criminal proceedings. Some amendments would modify definitions, mode of trial procedure or dispositions and sentences for several offences. Provisions dealing with crimes involving computers and credit cards would be amended.

An amendment to the Canada Evidence Act would permit affidavits and related documents that have to be sworn abroad to be taken before officials designated by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Another amendment would permit court stenographers to certify evidence of judicial proceedings for the purpose of introduction in subsequent proceedings. The amendments to the Supreme Court Act would permit oral hearings in relation to certain leave to appeal applications and reduce the summer recess period in relation to certain time limits. The changes to the other Acts would ensure consistency with the changes to the Criminal Code in relation to proceeds of crime and mental disorder or to correct typographical errors.