section 2

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section defines the length of a day in the context of the Criminal Code of Canada.

SECTION WORDING

2. In this Act, "day" means the period between six oclock in the forenoon and nine oclock in the afternoon of the same day;

EXPLANATION

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a definition for the term day" when used within the context of the Act. Specifically, the term day" refers to the period between 6:00 AM and 9:00 PM. This definition is important because many provisions of the Criminal Code refer to specific time periods, deadlines or time restrictions. Understanding the definition of day" is important for knowing when a deadline or time period begins and ends. For example, Section 515 of the Criminal Code sets out the rules for bail hearings. One of the provisions in this section requires that a bail hearing be held as soon as practicable". The courts have interpreted this to mean that a bail hearing should be held within 24 hours, or one day", of the accused being detained by the police. Without a clear definition of what constitutes a day", it would be difficult to determine whether this requirement had been met. Another example is found in Section 11(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to a trial within a reasonable time. The courts have determined that the time period for this right begins when a person is charged with an offence and ends when the trial is completed. Because this time period is calculated in days, understanding the definition of day" in the Criminal Code is critical to determining whether a trial has been conducted within a reasonable time. Overall, while seemingly straightforward, the definition of day" in Section 2 is a crucial tool for criminal justice professionals and courts in interpreting and applying the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada.

COMMENTARY

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term "day" for the purposes of the Act. It specifies that a day begins at six o'clock in the forenoon and ends at nine o'clock in the afternoon of the same day. This definition might seem trivial, but it serves an important purpose in the legal system and has practical implications for criminal proceedings. The term "day" is used frequently throughout the Criminal Code, particularly when imposing time limits for certain actions or remedies. For example, Section 11(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees that an accused person has the right to be tried within a reasonable time. The Supreme Court of Canada has interpreted this right to mean that the trial should take place within a certain number of "days" from the time of the arrest or charge. Without a clear definition of the term "day", it would be difficult to determine how that time limit should be calculated. Furthermore, some offences or defences in the Criminal Code specify that certain acts must occur "within a day" or "before the end of the day". Again, without a clear definition of what constitutes a "day", there would be ambiguity and potential for confusion. The use of the six o'clock to nine o'clock time frame as the definition of a day in the Criminal Code provides a clear and consistent standard for all legal actors to follow. The practical implications of this definition of a day are also worth considering. For example, if a court imposes a condition on a person's bail that they must remain in their residence between certain hours, the definition of a day becomes relevant in determining when that restriction ends. Similarly, if a person is subject to a probation order that restricts their movements during certain hours, they need to know when those restrictions apply. Overall, while Section 2 of the Criminal Code might seem like a small detail, it serves a crucial function in establishing a clear and consistent definition of a day for legal purposes. This definition helps ensure that time limits and restrictions are applied fairly and consistently throughout the criminal justice system.

STRATEGY

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term "day" for the purposes of the Act. This seemingly simple definition can have important strategic implications when dealing with criminal charges, trials, and other legal proceedings. Below are some strategic considerations and possible strategies that may arise from this Section of the Criminal Code. Timing of Offences As per the definition in Section 2, a "day" runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. This can be relevant in situations such as alleged break-ins or thefts where the timing of the offence is a crucial factor in determining guilt. For instance, if someone is accused of stealing something in the darkness of night, their defence may argue that the offence cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, since the definition of day starts at 6 a.m. Strategies: Defence counsel could focus on obtaining evidence that shows the offence occurred before 6 a.m. Alternatively, prosecutors could work to establish a timeline of events that clearly places the offence within the legally defined "day" period. Bail Conditions When someone is charged with a criminal offence, they may be released on bail subject to certain conditions. One common condition is a curfew requirement, which often restricts an accused person from leaving their home between certain hours of the day. The period of curfew is often chosen to fall within the legally defined "day" period. This helps to ensure that an accused person is not out committing offences during a time when they are supposed to be at home. Strategies: Defence counsel may challenge the relevance of curfew conditions based on the timing of the alleged offence. They may argue that there is no evidence that the accused was committing an offence within the legally defined "day" period, and therefore no need for such tight restrictions. Alternatively, prosecutors may seek to argue for curfew conditions that fall entirely within the legally defined "day" period, to avoid any potential curfew breaches that could undermine the accused person's bail. Criminal Trials During criminal trials, hours of operation are often determined based on the legally defined "day" period. Court sittings typically begin at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m., to allow for lunch and breaks. This means that legal proceedings will not extend past 9 p.m. and that anything occurring after 9 p.m. will be deemed to have happened on a new "day." Strategies: Defence counsel may try to use the limited hours of court operation to their advantage. They may request adjournments to delay the trial or seek to slow down proceedings to stall for time. Prosecutors may work to ensure that court sittings are efficient and productive, so that they can complete the trial within the limited legally defined "day" period. Conclusion Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term "day" for the purposes of the Act. This seemingly simple definition has important strategic implications for legal proceedings, particularly for timing offences, setting bail conditions, and managing criminal trials. Understanding the nuances of this definition can be crucial for both defence counsel and prosecutors in building strong cases or minimizing potential legal issues.

CATEGORIES