section 2

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines an internationally protected person and includes heads of state, government officials, and their families who are entitled to special protection under international law.

SECTION WORDING

2. In this Act, "internationally protected person" means (a) a head of state, including any member of a collegial body that performs the functions of a head of state under the constitution of the state concerned, a head of a government or a minister of foreign affairs, whenever that person is in a state other than the state in which he holds that position or office, (b) a member of the family of a person described in paragraph (a) who accompanies that person in a state other than the state in which that person holds that position or office, (c) a representative or an official of a state or an official or agent of an international organization of an intergovernmental character who, at the time when and at the place where an offence referred to in subsection 7(3) is committed against his person or any property referred to in section 431 that is used by him, is entitled, pursuant to international law, to special protection from any attack on his person, freedom or dignity, or (d) a member of the family of a representative, official or agent described in paragraph (c) who forms part of his household, if the representative, official or agent, at the time when and at the place where any offence referred to in subsection 7(3) is committed against the member of his family or any property referred to in section 431 that is used by that member, is entitled, pursuant to international law, to special protection from any attack on his person, freedom or dignity;

EXPLANATION

Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term internationally protected person". This term is crucial in understanding the provisions of the Code that deal with offences against international persons or their property. The definition covers a range of individuals who are entitled to special protection under international law when they are in a state other than the one where they hold their office or position. The definition initially includes heads of state, including members of any collegial body that performs the functions of a head of state, heads of government, and foreign affairs ministers. These individuals are protected regardless of whether they are in their own country or are visiting another state. The second category of persons covered by the definition is the family members who accompany these individuals. The third category of individuals who are classified as internationally protected persons are representatives or officials of a state or international organization. These individuals are entitled to special protection under international law when they are subjected to an offence referred to in subsection 7(3) of the Criminal Code. Lastly, the family members who are part of the household of the representatives, officials, or agents in the third category receive the same protection if they are subject to an offense under the same circumstances. Overall, the definition of an internationally protected person is designed to provide enhanced protection to certain individuals who are involved in diplomatic, official, or representative duties, and their families. This protection is vital to ensuring that they can carry out their duties without fear of attack on their person, dignity, or freedom. The Criminal Code of Canada recognizes the importance of such protections and provides a framework to ensure that offenders are held accountable for any offenses committed against these individuals or their property.

COMMENTARY

The Criminal Code of Canada provides necessary legal protections for those individuals who are entitled to special protection under international law. Section 2 of the Code defines an internationally protected person" as a person or their family member who holds a high-ranking position in a government or an organization that is entitled, under international law, to special protections from any attack on their person or freedom. This section is a critical aspect of Canada's commitment to international law and human rights. It acknowledges the importance of protecting those who play a crucial role in maintaining peace, security, and stability across the globe. These individuals - heads of state, ministers of foreign affairs, and other officials - often operate in high-risk environments where their safety can be threatened due to their positions and activities. The definition of an internationally protected person" extends beyond government officials to include representatives and agents of international organizations of an intergovernmental character, such as the United Nations. This recognition is essential as these individuals play a crucial role in addressing global challenges, including peacekeeping, human rights, and humanitarian assistance. Furthermore, the inclusion of family members who are accompanying an internationally protected person acknowledges the potential threats and dangers they face merely due to their familial connections with the protected person. This provision is crucial as family members are often in close proximity to the protected person and could be targeted as a means of putting pressure on the protected person. It is also important to note that the definition of an internationally protected person" includes the concept of immunity, which provides a measure of protection against prosecution or legal action in the host state. Immunity is a complex and often contentious issue, and its application may depend on the specifics of international law and conventions. However, it is a necessary aspect of ensuring that internationally protected persons can perform their duties without fear of undue interference or harassment. In conclusion, Section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada is a crucial provision that recognizes the importance of protecting those who play a significant role in maintaining peace and security across the globe. It acknowledges the risks and dangers that individuals may face due to their positions, and it provides them and their family members with necessary legal protections to carry out their duties without fear of undue interference or harassment. The provision also underscores Canada's commitment to international law and human rights and highlights the importance of maintaining a robust and comprehensive legal framework for the protection of these individuals.

STRATEGY

When dealing with section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada, there are several strategic considerations that must be kept in mind. The section pertains to the protection of internationally protected persons, which includes heads of state, members of foreign governments, and certain representatives, officials, and agents of international organizations. Any offence against these individuals is considered a serious crime under Canadian law and can result in severe penalties. One strategic consideration when dealing with this section is the need to fully understand the legal and political implications of any actions taken against an internationally protected person. This includes considering the potential consequences of any criminal charges that may be brought against the accused, as well as the potential impact on international relations between Canada and the victim's home state. Another important consideration is the need to gather as much information as possible about the individual in question, including their status, affiliations, and any potential threats to their safety. This information can help inform strategies for protecting the individual and preventing any further offences from occurring. Strategies that can be employed in dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada include developing contingency plans for responding to a potential threat to an internationally protected person, such as increased security measures or the deployment of emergency response teams. Additionally, organizations that work with these individuals, such as embassies or international organizations, may consider developing protocols for ensuring the safety and security of their employees and representatives. Finally, there may be a need to engage in diplomatic efforts to prevent any further offences from occurring, such as appealing to the home state of the victim to provide additional protection or working with international partners to ensure adequate security measures are in place. Diplomatic efforts can also be useful in ensuring that any criminal charges are handled in a manner that is consistent with international law and norms. In summary, dealing with section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada requires a thorough understanding of the legal and political implications of any actions taken against an internationally protected person. Additionally, effective strategies for protecting individuals and preventing further offences include the development of contingency plans, the gathering of intelligence and information, and engagement in diplomatic efforts.

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