Lets say that I'm at my own trial, representing myself pro se. I immediately object to something (anything at all - it doesn't matter what). If I understand correctly I can't be held in contempt - objecting to things is my right as a lawyer. The judge mumbles overruled (probably). I immediately object again with the same or similar objection, forcing the judge to again overrule. I keep on shouting objection ('tis my right as a lawyer that nobody can take away from me) - am I right in the assumption that the trial then cannot continue, since nobody else can be heard? I cant be stopped from objecting and the judge is lawbound to keep saying "overruled" (or "sustained") until the day is over?
The Criminal Code allows a court to "cause the accused to be removed and to be kept out of court, where he misconducts himself by interrupting the proceedings so that to continue the proceedings in his presence would not be feasible" (s. 650(2)).
An accused who is disrupting and paralyzing the proceedings is themself affecting the fairness of the trial:
The rights afforded accused persons cannot be permitted to undermine the object for which they are given – the holding of a fair trial according to law. ... “... the many safeguards built into the criminal justice system for an accused, particularly an unrepresented one, cannot be allowed to give rise to a right in an accused person to disrupt the orderly process of a trial.”
The judge has many options available to them short of removal, and even after removal, there are ways to allow the accused to participate:
- the judge can provide instructions on procedure and what objections can be made
- the judge can tell the accused that objections of the sort being made are not in order
- the judge can order the accused to be silent
- the judge can issue a contempt order
- the judge remove the accused from the courtroom
- the judge can allow the accused participate in the hearings via video and microphone, with the ability to mute the video and/or audio
- the judge can allow them back into the courtroom with conditions
I am guessing that the question is about the United States, since the "objection!" procedure is not the same in other places.
The Supreme Court has held that even though you have the right to represent yourself, this is conditional on your maintenance of proper conduct. If you disrupt proceedings and disregard judicial directions, then the judge can find you in contempt of court, just as with anybody else who was doing that.
In Illinois v Allen, 397 U.S. 337 (1970), a self-represented litigant "started to argue with the judge in a most abusive and disrespectful manner", threatened the judge's life, and made clear that he intended to filibuster the process, saying "There is going to be no proceeding. I'm going to start talking and I'm going to keep on talking all through the trial. There's not going to be no trial like this." The judge ordered him removed from the courtroom on several instances of this behavior, and also appointed professional counsel. Following a series of appeals against all this, the Supreme Court ultimately said:
Although mindful that courts must indulge every reasonable presumption against the loss of constitutional rights, Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U. S. 458, 304 U. S. 464 (1938), we explicitly hold today that a defendant can lose his right to be present at trial if, after he has been warned by the judge that he will be removed if he continues his disruptive behavior, he nevertheless insists on conducting himself in a manner so disorderly, disruptive, and disrespectful of the court that his trial cannot be carried on with him in the courtroom. Once lost, the right to be present can, of course. be reclaimed as soon as the defendant is willing to conduct himself consistently with the decorum and respect inherent in the concept of courts and judicial proceedings.
It is essential to the proper administration of criminal justice that dignity, order, and decorum be the hallmarks of all court proceedings in our country. The flagrant disregard in the courtroom of elementary standards of proper conduct should not and cannot be tolerated. We believe trial judges confronted with disruptive, contumacious, stubbornly defiant defendants must be given sufficient discretion to meet the circumstances of each case. No one formula for maintaining the appropriate courtroom atmosphere will be best in all situations. We think there are at least three constitutionally permissible ways for a trial judge to handle an obstreperous defendant like Allen: (1) bind and gag him, thereby keeping him present; (2) cite him for contempt; (3) take him out of the courtroom until he promises to conduct himself properly.