section 118

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Section 118 defines government as the Government of Canada, the government of a province, or Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

SECTION WORDING

118 In this Part, "government" means (a) the Government of Canada, (b) the government of a province, or (c) Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province;

EXPLANATION

Section 118 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term government" as it applies to this Part of the Code. This is an important definition for interpreting the provisions that follow. The definition includes three different entities: the Government of Canada, the government of a province, and Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province. Her Majesty in this context refers to the Crown, which is a symbolic representation of the state as a whole. The inclusion of these three entities in the definition means that offences committed against any of them are captured by the provisions of this Part of the Criminal Code. For example, if someone were to commit a fraud against the Government of Canada or a province, they would be subject to the relevant provisions set out in the Code. It is worth noting that the definition does not specify whether government" refers to the executive branch, legislative branch, or judicial branch of these entities. This means that all parts of the relevant government are covered by the term, regardless of whether they fall under the jurisdiction of another section of the Criminal Code. Overall, Section 118 serves an important function within the Criminal Code of Canada by clarifying the scope of the term government" as it applies to this Part of the Code. This provides a necessary framework for interpreting and enforcing the provisions that follow.

COMMENTARY

Section 118 of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important legal provision that outlines what constitutes as the government" in criminal law. This provision establishes that the government may refer to the Government of Canada, the government of a province, or Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province. While this provision may seem straightforward, it plays a significant role in various aspects of the Canadian legal system. Firstly, this provision is particularly important in relation to the investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses that involve the government. Crimes that are committed against the government, such as corruption, fraud, and breach of trust, can be investigated and prosecuted as offenses against the government. The definition of government" in this provision ensures that all levels of government in Canada are protected and can pursue justice when necessary. Secondly, Section 118 is essential in the context of international law. Canada recognizes the concept of state immunity, which is the legal principle that one state cannot be sued in the courts of another state without its consent. As such, when foreign states or their agents may be involved in criminal activities in Canada, Section 118 ensures that the legal framework surrounding the government is clearly established to avoid any confusion or irregularities. Thirdly, the government" definition established in this section also plays an important role in Federalism, a fundamental aspect of Canada's constitutional structure. In Canada, there is a division of responsibilities and powers between the federal and provincial governments. Criminal law is a shared jurisdiction, which means that both levels of government have the authority to create and enforce criminal laws. The definition of government" in Section 118 allows for clear identification of which level of government is involved should a crime occur. Finally, the term government" in Section 118 is also important in the context of civil litigation. Civil lawsuits can be initiated against the government, and this provision helps identify whether the entity being sued is a federal or provincial government or a crown corporation. In conclusion, Section 118 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a clear definition of what the term government" entails in criminal law. This definition is crucial to ensure the effective investigation and prosecution of offenses against the government at any level, to establish clear guidelines in international law, for the functioning of Federalism, and identifying the appropriate entity to be sued in civil litigation. The inclusion of this provision in the Canadian Criminal Code reflects the importance of ensuring that all levels of government are protected by the law and can pursue justice when necessary.

STRATEGY

Section 118 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term government" in a broad and encompassing manner, including the federal and provincial governments, as well as Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province. The section's broad scope makes it a critical consideration for strategic decision-making by law enforcement agencies and government authorities. One primary strategic consideration when dealing with section 118 is the potential for abuse of power. Because the definition of government" is exceptionally broad, it could be easy for officials to misuse their authority and conduct unlawful surveillance or investigations on individuals or organizations. This misuse could breach the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the Privacy Act, leading to legal and reputational consequences for both the law enforcement agency and the government. Therefore, one strategy that could be employed to mitigate abuse of power is to establish strict protocols on the use of government authority for surveillance and investigation. Strict internal guidelines and protocols must be in place to ensure that any authority exercised under section 118 is within legal and ethical bounds. Additionally, training and education sessions can be organized to ensure that all officials understand the importance of maintaining individual rights while performing their duties under the Criminal Code. Another strategic consideration when dealing with section 118 is the implications of government surveillance on national security. Law enforcement agencies often rely on government surveillance to detect and prevent criminal activities that may pose a threat to national security. Section 118, with its broad definition of government," can be a powerful tool for intelligence agencies tasked with monitoring potential threats to the country. However, this use of authority can also be subject to scrutiny, especially in cases where personal rights, freedom of speech, or privacy may be compromised. Therefore, it is essential to balance national security interests with individual rights and freedoms by employing measures such as judicial oversight and regular review of surveillance activities to ensure they are proportionate and necessary. Lastly, Section 118 can be a strategic consideration for organizations that engage in critical infrastructure or operations. The risks associated with potential insider threats, cyber attacks, or industrial espionage by unauthorized actors are ever-increasing. A better understanding of the legal implications and permissible uses of government authority under section 118 can help organizations better protect themselves and anticipate potential risks. In conclusion, section 118 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical legal consideration in many situations that could impact the security of the nation and the individual's rights and freedoms. Effective strategic considerations and measures can be employed to ensure that the powerful tool provided by Section 118 is used within the law and maintains due respect for the rights and freedoms of individuals and organizations alike.