I'm aware of the concept of non-standard pleas, but I'm unsure about how they operate in practice.

What might happen if a person were to plead something to the effect of 'I plead indifference to/non-recognition of the proceedings and judgement of the judiciary'? Would this simply be regarded as a type of not-guilty plea? Can a person be compelled to select a standard plea under the threat of being found in contempt of court?

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    Try searching YouTube for “sovereign citizen fails.” There are people who try to claim that the entire trial system is not legitimate. Judges do not tolerate very much of this, but if they have to enter it as a plea, it would be not guilty.
    – SegNerd
    Commented Feb 9, 2023 at 21:52

2 Answers 2


Section 606 of the Criminal Code says that "[a]n accused who is called on to plead may plead guilty or not guilty, or the special pleas authorized by this Part."

One of the special pleas is res judicata, but there is no special plea amounting to indifference.

If an accused "refuses to plead or does not answer directly, the court shall order the clerk of the court to enter a plea of not guilty."


In the , it may be possible to plead no contest. Doing so does recognize the proceedings, but it saves the defendant from actively admitting guilt.

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