section 153(1.1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section outlines the punishments for committing an offence related to participation in organized crime.

SECTION WORDING

153(1.1) Every person who commits an offence under subsection (1) (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; or (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 90 days.

EXPLANATION

Section 153(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the offence of sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation is defined as the abuse of power or trust, or of a relationship, for sexual purposes. This can include situations where a person in a position of authority, such as a teacher or coach, engages in sexual activity with a young person under their care. Subsection (1) of section 153 sets out the basic offence of sexual exploitation, while subsection (1.1) outlines the penalties that apply in cases where the offence is committed. The penalties are severe, reflecting the seriousness of the offence and the harm that can be caused to young people. Under subsection (1.1)(a), if a person is convicted of sexual exploitation, they are guilty of an indictable offence and could face up to 10 years in prison. This is the most serious form of criminal offence in Canada and carries significant consequences. In addition, there is a minimum punishment of one year in prison that must be imposed. Under subsection (1.1)(b), a person may also be charged with sexual exploitation as a summary offence, which is less serious than an indictable offence. However, even as a summary offence, a conviction for sexual exploitation can result in a sentence of up to 18 months in prison. Additionally, there is a minimum punishment of 90 days that must be imposed. In sum, section 153(1.1) sends a clear message that sexual exploitation of young people is a serious crime that will be punished with severe consequences. The Criminal Code of Canada recognizes that the protection of vulnerable people, particularly young people, is a top priority for Canadian society, and this provision reflects that commitment.

COMMENTARY

Section 153(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada comes into play when an individual commits an offence under subsection (1). Subsection (1) describes the offence of sexual interference, which involves touching the body of a child under the age of 16 for sexual purposes. The penalty for sexual interference is stiff, with individuals facing the possibility of imprisonment for up to 10 years under the Indictable offence option. The provision also includes the mandatory minimum sentence of one year of imprisonment for the indictable offence and 90 days for the summary conviction offence. The imposition of such minimum sentences sets a standard for a particular type of offence and sends a message to the society that the offence is severe and intolerable. It is noteworthy that the Criminal Code of Canada distinguishes between Indictable and summary convictions. Indictable offences typically considered as more serious than summary offences are tried before a judge or jury and carry penalties that include lengthy prison terms. Summary offences, on the other hand, are less severe and are heard by a judge alone with less severe maximum penalties including fines and short jail terms. Although sexual interference is not a minor offence, providing one's legal counsel with the option of either electing indictment or being tried under summary means that the individual has an opportunity to argue their charge in the best way possible. The one-year minimum sentence for sexual interference sets a high benchmark for similar offences. This provision of the law not only serves as a deterrent to would-be offenders, but it also communicates to the victims, their families, and communities that the law is ready and willing to protect them from harm. However, the imposition of mandatory sentencing has been met with criticism. Some scholars argue that mandatory sentences violate the principle of judicial independence, which is a fundamental feature of the legal system. Others argue that mandatory sentences as a form of punishment are unduly harsh, depriving judges of the discretion to fashion proportionate sentences and thus making them unreasonable. Critics also assert that mandatory sentencing is ineffective in reducing crime, as it does not take into cognizance the unique circumstances of each offence. In conclusion, Section 153(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out a penalty against sexual interference. It reflects society's condemnation of such heinous offences and seeks to protect vulnerable victims. However, the use of mandatory minimums raises issues of judicial discretion in sentencing and presents certain challenges to the criminal justice system. While the Criminal Code of Canada may need to be reviewed to ensure that legislation serves justice in a balanced manner, it is always important to remember that it reflects the values that the society upholds, fair trials, justice, and equality for all.

STRATEGY

Section 153(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the penalties for committing an offence under subsection (1), which pertains to the act of advocating or promoting genocide. This provision is an important tool for law enforcement and justice officials to deter and punish acts of advocacy for the mass killing of a specific group of people. However, there are strategic considerations that need to be taken into account when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. This article will discuss some of these considerations and provide possible strategies that could be employed. The first strategic consideration when dealing with Section 153(1.1) is the importance of evidence. In order to lay charges and obtain a conviction, prosecutors need to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused advocated or promoted genocide. This means that they will need to gather evidence, which can be challenging in cases where the advocacy occurs online, through social media or other digital platforms. As such, strategies that focus on digital forensics and analysis of online communications may be helpful in building a case. Additionally, if the advocacy occurs in person or in a public forum, witness testimony and physical evidence such as flyers or posters can be important pieces of evidence that can be used to support the case. The second strategic consideration is the potential impact of the offence on the community. Advocating or promoting genocide is a serious offence that can have a significant impact on the targeted group and the wider community. As such, prosecutors and law enforcement officials need to carefully consider the potential impact of the offence and how it can be mitigated. Strategies such as community outreach and education, restorative justice programs, and victim support services can be helpful in addressing the harm caused by the offence. Additionally, preventative measures such as public awareness campaigns and hate crime legislation can be helpful in preventing these types of offences from occurring in the first place. The third strategic consideration is the importance of addressing the root causes of the offence. Advocating or promoting genocide is often a symptom of deeper social, political and economic issues such as systemic discrimination, marginalization and inequality. As such, strategies that focus on addressing these underlying issues can be effective in preventing the offence from occurring in the first place. This could include initiatives such as anti-discrimination programs, access to education and employment opportunities, and community-building initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion. In conclusion, Section 153(1.1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a crucial tool for preventing and punishing acts of advocacy for genocide. However, there are strategic considerations that need to be taken into account when dealing with this provision. Evidence gathering, community impact, and addressing root causes are all important factors to consider when developing strategies to prevent and punish these types of offences. By taking a holistic approach that considers all of these factors, law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and other justice stakeholders can work together to prevent and address acts of genocide advocacy.