section 2

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section defines dwelling-house as any building or structure occupied as a permanent or temporary residence, including mobile units intended for such use.

SECTION WORDING

2. In this Act, "dwelling-house" means the whole or any part of a building or structure that is kept or occupied as a permanent or temporary residence, and includes (a) a building within the curtilage of a dwelling-house that is connected to it by a doorway or by a covered and enclosed passage-way, and (b) a unit that is designed to be mobile and to be used as a permanent or temporary residence and that is being used as such a residence;

EXPLANATION

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term dwelling-house". The definition is important in the context of the Code because many offences under the Code relate to the invasion of a person's dwelling-house. Dwelling-house" in section 2 refers to any building or structure that is used as a permanent or temporary residence. The term includes houses, apartments, duplexes, and any other type of housing structure. Furthermore, the section extends the meaning of dwelling-house to buildings within the curtilage of a dwelling-house that are connected to it by a doorway or a covered and enclosed passage-way. "Curtilage" is a legal term that refers to the land surrounding a dwelling-house where the owner has a reasonable expectation of privacy. This means that outbuildings such as sheds or garages that are within the curtilage of a dwelling-house are considered part of the dwelling-house for the purposes of the Criminal Code of Canada. In addition, the definition of dwelling-house" includes mobile homes that are designed to be used as a residence, whether they are permanent or temporary. This provision recognizes that some individuals may live in mobile homes as their permanent residence or may use them temporarily for work purposes. Overall, section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term dwelling-house" broadly to ensure that all types of residential structures are protected under the Code. This is important as crimes committed in people's homes can have significant emotional and psychological effects on victims, and the Code needs to provide adequate protection for individuals in their own homes.

COMMENTARY

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term *dwelling-house" as a building or structure that is either permanently or temporarily occupied as a place of residence. This definition is essential as it serves as the basis for numerous sections of the Criminal Code and other laws that deal with offenses such as burglary, home invasion, and trespassing. The definition also includes features such as connected buildings within the curtilage of the dwelling-house and mobile units used as a residence. The inclusion of these elements ensures that offenders cannot use technicalities to escape prosecution. For example, if someone enters a building within the curtilage of a dwelling-house illegally, it will be treated as if they have entered the residence itself. Similarly, if someone trespasses onto a mobile unit that is being used as a residence, the law treats them as if they have entered a dwelling-house. The definition does not specify the type of building or structure; instead, it refers to anything that is used as a place of residence. This includes houses, apartments, mobile homes, and any other structure that serves the purpose of accommodating people. This definition is vital as it acknowledges the diversity in housing, affording everyone the same level of protection under the law. Furthermore, this definition acknowledges the importance and sanctity of a person's dwelling-place. We all have the right to feel safe and secure in our homes, whether we own them or rent them. This section of the Criminal Code guarantees that the law ensures that our homes are our castles, and trespassing upon them will be met with harsh penalties. It is also important to understand the distinction between a dwelling-house and other types of structures. A dwelling-house must be a place of residence, and not a commercial establishment or a vacant structure. Other sections of the Criminal Code and laws govern offenses like breaking and entering, trespassing, or theft that occur in non-residential structures. In conclusion, Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada serves as the cornerstone that protects the right of Canadian citizens to feel secure and comfortable in their homes. The definition of *dwelling-house" is essential as it forms the basis for numerous offenses and ensures that no offender can exploit technicalities to escape justice. The definition is also inclusive, acknowledging the diversity of housing available to Canadians. Lastly, the definition acknowledges that a person's dwelling-place is a sacred space deserving of utmost protection under Canadian law.

STRATEGY

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada is essential for understanding criminal offenses related to dwelling-houses. This section provides clarity on the definition of dwelling-house, which is a critical element in determining if an offense has been committed against a home or its occupants. Hence, when dealing with this section, there are several strategic considerations that lawyers, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials must bear in mind. Firstly, one strategic consideration is the importance of accurately defining the scope of the dwelling-house. The definition of dwelling-house is crucial in assessing the severity of the offense, the applicable penalties, and the degree of evidence required to support the charges. It is therefore essential to ensure that the definition of the dwelling-house is precise and unambiguous in the context of a particular case. This can sometimes be challenging, especially where the dwelling-house extends beyond a single building, or where the dwelling-house is in a state of transition (i.e., moving residence). Secondly, another strategic consideration when dealing with Section 2 is the degree of evidence required to establish that a particular structure is a dwelling-house. Typically, evidence that a structure is being used as a place of residence is sufficient to establish that it is a dwelling-house. However, proving the intended use of a structure can sometimes be challenging, especially when the structure is unused or temporarily unoccupied. To overcome this challenge, it may be necessary to rely on circumstantial evidence, such as the presence of furniture and household items or utility bills that have been depreciated to the building in question. Thirdly, another strategic consideration when dealing with Section 2 is the degree to which the dwelling-house is inhabited. The level of habitation might influence the severity of the offense, with more severe penalties being applied if the dwelling-house is occupied at the time of the crime. Thus, it is frequently important to establish the degree to which the residence is occupied, especially in cases of burglary, where the offender may have assumed that the house was unoccupied at the time of the offense. Fourthly, a fundamental strategic consideration when dealing with Section 2 is recognizing that the definition of dwelling-house extends beyond physical structures. For instance, a mobile unit used as a residence can still be considered a dwelling-house under the criminal code. This calls for particular attention when assessing the scope of a dwelling-house, especially when dealing with offenses committed within mobile dwellings. Given the various strategic considerations outlined above, there are several strategies that may be employed when dealing with cases under Section 2. For instance, it may be necessary to conduct extensive investigations into the use and occupation of structures to determine whether they meet the definition of a dwelling-house under the criminal code. Further, evidence collection techniques such as interviews with neighbors and analysis of utility bills may be employed to supplement evidence of the intended use of a structure. Lawyers and prosecutors may also avoid overly specific or definitive interpretations of the definition of a dwelling-house to ensure that the potential scope of their case is not limited. In conclusion, Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical section that provides the definition of a dwelling-house. There are several strategic considerations that lawyers, prosecutors, and law enforcement officials must bear in mind when dealing with this section, including the precise scope of the dwelling-house, the degree of evidence required, the level of habitation, and the fact that the definition of a dwelling-house extends beyond physical structures. By employing appropriate strategies, it is possible to establish whether an offense has been committed against a dwelling-house and to determine the applicable penalties.

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