Private Prosecution - Laying an Information in BC
Last revised March 19, 2019

In British Columbia, any criminal proceeding that is not brought under s.577 of the Criminal Code is begun with the laying of an information (Form 2, Offence Act / Form 4, Criminal Code).  Usually this form is laid by a law enforcement officer but it can also be laid by a member of the public.

This is sometimes known as a private prosecution and is used by the public to bring the court’s attention to criminal activity that they believe to be occurring.  Once written, the information is taken before a judge and sworn under oath.

The only formal qualification for the laying of an information is a belief “on reasonable grounds” that the stated offence is occurring.  This is covered in s.504 of the Criminal Code

Where can I find sample informations?

Sample forms can be recovered from a provincial court registry by providing them with the file number associated with a case.  The filings (including the information that was laid) of each case can be recovered for a fee.

File numbers are most easily recorded by searching WestLawNext in a courthouse library for the Information form and then clicking the “citing references” tab.  

   
     

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