section 197(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section defines the term keeper in relation to a person who controls a place.

SECTION WORDING

197(1) In this Part, "keeper" includes a person who (a) is an owner or occupier of a place, (b) assists or acts on behalf of an owner or occupier of a place, (c) appears to be, or to assist or act on behalf of an owner or occupier of a place, (d) has the care or management of a place, or (e) uses a place permanently or temporarily, with or without the consent of the owner or occupier thereof;

EXPLANATION

Section 197(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out the definition of "keeper" for the purposes of other sections of the Code that relate to the keeping of a common bawdy-house, gaming or betting house, or lottery scheme. A keeper is a person who meets one of the following criteria: 1. The owner or occupier of a place where the prohibited activity is taking place; 2. A person who assists or acts on behalf of the owner or occupier of the place; 3. A person who appears to be or is perceived as assisting or acting on behalf of the owner or occupier of the place; 4. A person who has the care or management of the place; or 5. A person who uses the place permanently or temporarily, with or without the consent of the owner or occupier. The term "keeper" is important in the context of these types of offences because it broadens the scope of people who can be held responsible. It is not just the direct participants in the prohibited activity who can be charged, but also those who facilitate or enable it to occur. For example, consider a common bawdy-house. It is not just the sex workers who can be charged with keeping the bawdy-house, but also the person who owns the property, the person who manages it, or anyone who assists or acts on behalf of the owner or occupier. This means that a landlord who knowingly rents out their property for the purpose of prostitution could be charged as a keeper. Overall, Section 197(1) plays an important role in ensuring that the Criminal Code of Canada can adequately address offences related to common bawdy-houses, gaming or betting houses, and lottery schemes. It helps to ensure that those who facilitate these types of activities can be held accountable, in addition to the direct participants.

COMMENTARY

Section 197(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important part of the legislation that outlines the role of a keeper" and the responsibilities that come with it. According to the law, a keeper" includes anyone who owns, occupies, manages, or uses a place - with or without the consent of the owner or occupier. Essentially, this means that anyone with control or possession of the premises can be considered a keeper" under the Criminal Code. The purpose of this section of the legislation is to hold individuals accountable for the activities that go on at a particular location. If someone is involved in criminal activity - such as drug trafficking or prostitution - that takes place on their property or in their care, they can be charged as the keeper" of the location. This accountability serves to deter criminal activity from taking place on the premises and also establishes a clear chain of responsibility. It should be noted that being charged as a keeper" does not necessarily require the person to have direct involvement in the criminal activity taking place. As the law states, someone who merely assists or acts on behalf of the owner or occupier of a place can also be considered a keeper." This means that someone who knowingly allows criminal activity to take place on their property or who turns a blind eye to it can be held accountable. Section 197(1) also highlights the importance of consent in determining who can be considered a keeper." Even if someone uses a place without the owner or occupier's consent, they can still be held responsible under the Criminal Code. This emphasizes the need for property owners to remain vigilant about who has access to their property and what activities are taking place there. Overall, Section 197(1) serves as an important tool in cracking down on criminal activity and holding those responsible accountable for their actions. It emphasizes the importance of property owners and keepers taking responsibility for the activities that take place on their premises, and emphasizes the importance of consent in determining who can be held accountable. By acting as a deterrent and establishing clear accountability, this section of the Criminal Code helps to maintain the safety and security of our communities.

STRATEGY

Section 197(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a broad definition of keeper," which encompasses a wide range of individuals who may be held criminally liable for the actions that occur within a particular place. Given this broad definition, there are a number of strategic considerations that must be taken into account when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. First and foremost, it is important to recognize that the scope of liability under section 197(1) can vary significantly depending on the circumstances of a particular case. For example, an individual who merely owns or occupies a place may have a different level of liability than one who actively assists or acts on behalf of an owner or occupier, or one who has the care or management of a place. As such, it is important to carefully evaluate the specific facts of a case and assess the potential liability of all individuals who may be considered keepers." In order to minimize liability under section 197(1), there are a number of strategies that can be employed. One common approach is to carefully control access to a particular place in order to minimize the risk of unlawful activities taking place. This may involve implementing strict security measures, regularly monitoring the premises for any suspicious activity, or ensuring that only authorized personnel are allowed to enter the site. Another strategy that can be employed is to carefully vet any individuals or organizations that are allowed to use a particular place. For example, if a building is being rented out for a public event, the owner or occupier may want to conduct a thorough background check on the organizers of the event and ensure that they have appropriate insurance coverage in place. In some cases, it may be possible to transfer liability to other parties. For example, if an owner or occupier of a particular place hires a third-party security company to monitor the premises, they may be able to shift liability for any unlawful activity onto that company. Similarly, if an owner or occupier of a place delegates responsibility for the care or management of the site to a property management company, they may be able to transfer some of the liability for any unlawful activity onto that company. Ultimately, the key to minimizing liability under section 197(1) is to be proactive and vigilant in identifying and addressing any potential risks. This may involve implementing policies and procedures that are designed to prevent unlawful activities from occurring, as well as taking swift and decisive action if any such activities do take place. By working closely with legal counsel and other advisers, individuals who are considered keepers" under section 197(1) can develop effective strategies for minimizing their exposure to criminal liability.