Accused convicted of failing to provide the necessities of life and unlawful confinement. The accused was never properly arraigned under s. 536(2) CC. Accused application for a mistrial on the basis that the failure to arraign resulted in prejudice and injustice.

Held: Application dismissed.

Although a formal arraignment never occurred, the accused was represented by counsel, elected mode of trial and entered not guilty pleas. “The purpose of arraignment is to ensure that the accused is aware of the exact charges he or she faces, and to ensure that all parties have a common understanding of the charges. Failure to arraign the accused or to comply with s. 536(2) does not automatically render a trial a nullity. Arraignment and procedural requirements under s. 536(2) can be explicitly or impliedly waived by the words or conduct of the accused or counsel.”

C. Lawrence – Defence Counsel