section 120

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Section 120 of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the offence and penalties for corruptly accepting or giving money, valuables, employment, or office with the intent to interfere with the administration of justice or facilitate or protect from criminal activity.

SECTION WORDING

120 Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years who (a) being a justice, police commissioner, peace officer, public officer or officer of a juvenile court, or being employed in the administration of criminal law, directly or indirectly, corruptly accepts, obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, for themselves or another person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment with intent (i) to interfere with the administration of justice, (ii) to procure or facilitate the commission of an offence, or (iii) to protect from detection or punishment a person who has committed or who intends to commit an offence; or (b) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives or offers to a person mentioned in paragraph (a), or to anyone for the benefit of that person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment with intent that the person should do anything mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i), (ii) or (iii). R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 120; 2007, c. 13, s. 4.

EXPLANATION

Section 120 of the Criminal Code of Canada criminalizes the corrupt conduct of public officials in the justice system or those employed in the administration of criminal law. This includes any employee who either directly or indirectly accepts or attempts to obtain money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment for themselves or someone else with the intent of interfering with the administration of justice, procuring or facilitating the commission of a crime, or protecting someone who has committed or intends to commit a crime. Similarly, in this provision, any person who directly or indirectly offers or gives money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment to a public official or employee with the intent of influencing them to commit any of the aforementioned offenses is also liable to the same sentence. The offenses punishable under this section are categorized as indictable offenses and can result in a jail term not exceeding fourteen years. The offenses covered by this provision carry a heavy penalty since corrupt conduct by public officials compromises the integrity and fairness of the criminal justice system. Overall, section 120 of the Criminal Code of Canada aims to prevent the corruption of the justice system by deterring public officials or employees from engaging in unethical practices that subvert justice and the rule of law. It reinforces the idea that those in the justice system must uphold the highest level of ethical and professional conduct in carrying out their duties.

COMMENTARY

Section 120 of the Criminal Code of Canada addresses the issue of corruption within the administration of justice and those who are employed in the criminal justice system. The section prohibits any act or attempt to directly or indirectly accept any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment with the intention to interfere with the administration of justice, to facilitate the commission of an offence or to protect a person from detection or punishment who has committed or intends to commit an offence. The section also prohibits the direct or indirect offering or giving of any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment to a person mentioned in paragraph (a) or anyone for the benefit of that person to do anything mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i), (ii) or (iii). This provision is critical in ensuring the integrity and impartiality of the justice system. Corruption within the justice system can lead to wrongful convictions, the protection of criminals, and the facilitation of criminal activity. The imposition of strict penalties on those who engage in corrupt acts within the justice system aims to prevent such corruption and ensure that the justice system operates in a fair and impartial manner. The section also emphasizes the importance of transparency and accountability in the administration of justice. Those employed in the administration of criminal law must act with integrity and impartiality, and their actions must always be in the best interest of justice. Any attempt to use their position for personal gain or to pervert the course of justice undermines the principles of the justice system and erodes public confidence in the system. Furthermore, this provision recognizes that those employed in the criminal justice system hold a position of trust within society. Their actions should be directed towards upholding the law, protecting the interests of the community and ensuring that the accused are given fair trials. Corruption within the justice system not only undermines the principles of justice but also erodes public trust in the system, leading to a breakdown of law and order. This section provides for a punishment of up to 14 years imprisonment for those convicted of corrupt acts. Such severe punishment emphasizes the importance placed on the integrity of the justice system and deters individuals from engaging in corrupt acts. In conclusion, section 120 of the Criminal Code of Canada is fundamental in ensuring the integrity and impartiality of the justice system. It provides a significant deterrent to those who may be tempted to engage in corrupt behaviour within the justice system. The provision reflects the importance of maintaining public confidence in the justice system and the critical role that those employed in the administration of criminal law play in upholding the principles of justice.

STRATEGY

Section 120 of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the criminal offence of corruption of public officials, which is a serious offence that can lead to imprisonment for up to fourteen years. Given the severity of the offence, it is important for individuals and organizations to carefully consider their options and strategies when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. One strategy is to ensure that there are clear policies and procedures in place to prevent corruption and to detect any potential instances of corruption. Organizations should have mechanisms in place to ensure that employees are aware of the law and the potential consequences of engaging in corrupt behaviour. This could include training programs, anti-corruption policies, and whistleblower hotlines that enable employees to report any suspicious behaviour without fear of retaliation. Another strategy is to conduct thorough due diligence on any potential business partners, contractors or employees to identify any red flags related to their background or criminal history. This could include conducting background checks, reviewing references, and monitoring any past instances of corruption or unethical behaviour. Another consideration is the need to be vigilant when dealing with public officials, particularly in situations where there is potential for conflict of interest. This includes ensuring that gifts or other inducements are not offered to public officials, and ensuring that contracts are awarded based on merit and not on personal relationships or other non-business considerations. Finally, it is important to have a crisis management plan in place in case of an allegation or investigation related to corruption. This could include ensuring that legal representation is in place, identifying key stakeholders and preparing messaging to address any potential reputational damage, and identifying contingency plans to minimize any financial or operational impacts. In addition to these strategic considerations, there are also specific strategies that can be employed when dealing with allegations or investigations related to Section 120 of the Criminal Code. These could include cooperating fully with investigators, engaging with legal counsel early in the process, and being transparent and open in communications with stakeholders. Overall, dealing with Section 120 of the Criminal Code requires careful consideration and deliberate action. Organizations and individuals must ensure that they have robust measures in place to prevent corruption and detect any potential instances of wrongdoing. Being vigilant, conducting due diligence, and having a crisis management plan in place can help minimize the risks and impacts of allegations or investigations related to corruption.