INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
A senior official may designate a public officer for a maximum of 48 hours if it is not feasible for the competent authority to do so due to exigent circumstances and if the public officer would be justified in committing an act that would otherwise constitute an offence.
25.1(6) A senior official may designate a public officer for the purposes of this section and sections 25.2 to 25.4 for a period of not more than 48 hours if the senior official is of the opinion that (a) by reason of exigent circumstances, it is not feasible for the competent authority to designate a public officer under subsection (3); and (b) in the circumstances of the case, the public officer would be justified in committing an act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offence. The senior official shall without delay notify the competent authority of the designation.
Section 25.1(6) of the Criminal Code of Canada empowers a senior official to designate a public officer for a period of not more than 48 hours. The purpose of this section and sections 25.2 to 25.4 is to protect public officers from criminal liability when they carry out their duties in exigent circumstances. Exigent circumstances refer to situations where delay in taking action could result in serious harm to people or property. This provision allows a senior official to appoint a public officer to take action that would otherwise constitute an offence. The senior official must be of the opinion that it is not feasible for the competent authority to designate a public officer, and that the public officer would be justified in committing an act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offence. For example, in cases of a terrorist attack, time is of the essence, and it may not be possible for the competent authority to designate a public officer. In such a situation, the senior official can designate a public officer to act immediately. The senior official must notify the competent authority of the designation without delay. The purpose of notifying the competent authority is to ensure that the designation is not abused and to allow for review, if necessary. Overall, Section 25.1(6) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a crucial provision that empowers senior officials to take action in exigent circumstances. It ensures that public officers are protected from criminal liability when they act in good faith to protect people and property.
Section 25.1(6) of the Criminal Code of Canada enables senior officials to appoint public officers who would be justified in committing an act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offense but only under certain conditions. This provision is meant to balance public safety considerations with individual rights and liberties as enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The section allows senior officials to temporarily designate a public officer for a period of up to 48 hours, in circumstances where it is not feasible for the competent authority to designate one under subsection (3) owing to exigent circumstances. This means that in urgent matters, senior officials can appoint a competent public officer to carry out an activity that would be an offense, even without the authorization of the competent authority. This provision may come into play when, for instance, there is a need to protect national security or address serious public health emergencies. However, senior officials are bound by certain conditions before making such an appointment. Firstly, they must be of the opinion that the exigent circumstances make it impossible for the competent authority to designate a public officer. This means that senior officials are expected to make a judgment call based on the circumstances on the ground. It is not enough to invoke this provision simply because the competent authority is unavailable or unwilling to make an appointment. Secondly, the senior official must also be of the opinion that the public officer would be justified in committing the act or omission that would otherwise constitute an offense. In other words, the public officer must be acting in good faith and in the interest of public safety, and the action or omission must be necessary and proportionate to the exigent circumstances. It is important to note that this provision applies only to a limited set of circumstances where the public interest in safety and security outweighs individual rights and freedoms. As such, it is subject to strict accountability and transparency measures. The senior official must inform the competent authority of the designation without delay, and the public officer must provide a written report on the circumstances that led to the designation as soon as practicable. This allows for accountability and oversight, and ensures that the designation is not misused or abused for personal or political gain. In conclusion, Section 25.1(6) of the Criminal Code of Canada strikes a balance between public safety and individual rights and freedoms. It enables senior officials to appoint public officers in exigent circumstances who may commit an act or omission that would otherwise be an offense, but only after careful consideration of the circumstances on the ground and subject to strict accountability measures. As such, it is an important tool for safeguarding national security and addressing serious public health emergencies, while respecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of Canadians.
Section 25.1(6) of the Criminal Code of Canada addresses the ability of a senior official to designate a public officer for a short period to engage in activities which would otherwise be considered illegal under the provisions of the Criminal Code. However, the provision is subject to a certain set of conditions. Strategic Considerations The use of Section 25.1(6) is a sensitive issue that requires a lot of strategic considerations. Some of the essential elements that need to be taken into account when utilizing this provision include: 1. Justification: The Designation of a public officer under Section 25.1(6) must have a valid justification. The designation must be made on grounds of exigent circumstances, meaning that the situation must be such that there is no time to wait for the competent authority to designate an officer under subsection (3). The public officer's action or omission deemed to be an offence must be done in circumstances that justify them. 2. Competent Authority: The duty of designating a public officer must ordinarily be exercised by the competent authority. However, in certain circumstances as stipulated in the section, a senior official can carry out the designation. It is essential to determine who the competent authority is before taking any action. 3. Timeliness: As soon as the designation is made, the senior official must make sure that the competent authority is notified without any delay. 4. Legal Advice: Given the complexity of this provision, it is imperative to seek legal advice before taking any action involving Section 25.1(6). As the law evolves with time, it is essential to be familiar with any relevant jurisprudence on the subject. Strategies To ensure that the designation of a public officer under Section 25.1(6) of the Criminal Code is done within the framework of the law and is effective, some strategies can be utilized. Below are some of the strategies: 1. Develop Protocols: Develop a clear process that outlines the conditions for designating a public officer, a list of emergencies that warrant using Section 25.1(6), and the steps needed to notify the competent authority as soon as possible. 2. Ensure Proper Training: Designating a public officer under Section 25.1(6) is a delicate matter that requires special training. As a result, it is crucial to ensure that officers who are likely to engage in such activities are appropriately trained. 3. Utilize Technology: The use of technology, such as body-worn cameras or drones, can be an effective strategy to ensure that the public officer's actions are well documented and can be reviewed in the future. 4. Develop Partnerships: Developing partnerships with other legal agencies or local security agencies can help provide access to expertise, offer legal advice and expedite the process of contacting the competent authority. 5. Inform the Public: Informing the public about the use of this provision can help create a framework of accountability. This will enable the public to hold officers responsible for their actions and work towards transparency in the process. Conclusion Utilizing Section 25.1(6) of the Criminal Code of Canada requires careful consideration of all the relevant factors. It's essential to ensure that the provisions in this section are implemented within the framework of the law, and all necessary procedures are followed. By establishing protocols and utilizing available resources, law enforcement agencies can minimize the risks associated with using this provision while maintaining public trust and accountability.