section 25.4(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section requires the senior official to notify any person whose property was lost or damaged due to the act or omission of a public officer.

SECTION WORDING

25.4 (1) When a public officer commits an act or omission or directs the commission by another person of an act or omission under paragraph 25.1(9)(a) or (b), the senior official with whom the public officer files a written report under section 25.2 shall, as soon as is feasible after the report is filed, and no later than one year after the commission of the act or omission, notify in writing any person whose property was lost or seriously damaged as a result of the act or omission.

EXPLANATION

Section 25.4(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that sets out the procedural requirements that must be followed when a public officer commits an act or omission that results in the loss or serious damage of someone's property. The section is linked to paragraph 25.1(9)(a) or (b), which outlines the situations where a public officer can be held liable for damages caused by their actions. Under the section, if a public officer commits an act or omission or instructs someone else to do so under the aforementioned provisions, they must file a written report with their senior official. The senior official is then required, as soon as possible after receiving the report, and no later than one year after the commission of the act or omission, to notify in writing any person whose property was lost or seriously damaged as a result of the act or omission. The purpose of this notification requirement is to ensure that those who have suffered damage to their property are informed of the situation and given an opportunity to seek compensation or redress. It is important to note that the notification must be given within a year of the incident, or the senior official may be liable for any further damages that occur as a result of the delay. Section 25.4(1) demonstrates the importance of accountability and transparency in the actions of public officers. It ensures that those who have been harmed by the actions of public officers are made aware of the situation and that steps are taken to address any damage caused. Overall, the provision supports the values of justice and fairness that are central to the Canadian legal system.

COMMENTARY

Section 25.4(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that seeks to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens when dealing with public officers. The provision applies to situations where a public officer commits an act or omission, or directs another person to commit an act or omission, under Paragraph 25.1(9)(a) or (b) of the Criminal Code. Paragraph 25.1(9)(a) deals with the use of force in an arrest or lawful custody, while Paragraph 25.1(9)(b) relates to the use of force in the performance of lawful duties. The primary purpose of Section 25.4(1) is to ensure that victims of serious property damage resulting from the actions of public officers are notified in writing within one year of the incident. Notification is to be given by the senior official to whom the public officer files a written report. This provision is an essential safeguard for citizens from the misuse of power by public officers. The notification requirement is essential because it helps ensure that victims of serious property damage resulting from the actions of public officers are aware of their legal rights. Where the damage to the property is so severe that it affects the victim's ability to earn a livelihood or even provide basic needs, it is essential that they are made aware of the government's liability to compensate them. Furthermore, notification is necessary to prevent public officers from being able to act with impunity. When public officers commit acts or omissions that cause serious property damage, they must be held accountable for their actions and take responsibility for any harm caused. The notification provision serves as a reminder to public officers that they have a duty to act within the law and respect the rights of citizens. However, it is not enough to provide notices to victims after the fact. It is essential to take further steps to ensure that the damage caused by public officers is adequately addressed. This can involve compensating the victim for their losses or taking appropriate disciplinary action against the public officer responsible for the harm. While the notification requirement under Section 25.4(1) is a necessary protection for citizens, it is not enough on its own to ensure that justice is done. Victims of serious property damage resulting from the actions of public officers must be able to access justice effectively. This requires that they have timely access to legal representation and the ability to pursue civil actions against the government or public officers responsible for the damage. In conclusion, Section 25.4(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada plays an essential role in ensuring that victims of serious property damage resulting from the actions of public officers are notified in writing within one year of the incident. This requirement serves as a safeguard for citizens by ensuring that they are aware of their legal rights and that public officers are held accountable for their actions. However, further steps are needed to ensure that justice is truly served and victims of public officer-caused property damage can access redress effectively.

STRATEGY

Section 25.4(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical piece of legislation that governs the actions of public officers and their reporting obligations. In essence, the law requires senior officials to notify any person whose property was lost or seriously damaged as a result of the act or omission committed by a public officer. This section of the Criminal Code is applicable when a public officer either commits an act or omits to do an act under paragraph 25.1(9)(a) or (b), or directs someone else to commit such an act or omission. A careful consideration of this section of the Criminal Code is essential to ensure compliance with the law, avoid potential liabilities and reputational damage, and maintain a good relationship with stakeholders. The first strategic consideration when dealing with Section 25.4(1) is to understand its scope and applicability. Public officers who commit acts or omissions that result in property damage or losses to third parties are obligated to file a written report with their senior officials. The senior officials, in turn, must notify the affected parties within a year of the commission of the act or omission. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the right personnel within the organization understand their obligations under the law. This includes training public officers and their supervisors to identify situations that trigger the notification requirement and report them promptly to senior management. The second strategic consideration is to establish communication protocols with stakeholders. When a public officer commits an act or omission that results in property damage or loss to third parties, the affected parties may be emotional, frustrated, or angry. As such, it is essential to have a clear and concise communication strategy that emphasizes empathy, transparency, and accountability. Adopting a problem-solving approach to the situation can help reduce hostility, increase stakeholder engagement, and foster a positive relationship with the affected parties. The third strategic consideration is to establish processes for obtaining accurate and timely information. When a public officer commits an act or omission that results in property damage or loss, it is crucial to determine the extent of the damage or loss accurately. This requires establishing processes for gathering and verifying information and conducting an investigation, where necessary. Information and evidence must be collected and maintained in a secure and organized manner to ensure that it is readily available when needed. This step is crucial in cases where third parties claim compensation for the harm caused to their property. The fourth strategic consideration is to seek legal advice where necessary. In cases where a public officer commits an act or omission, and the stakeholder seeks legal action, it is crucial to obtain legal advice. This is particularly essential when dealing with complex or high-value cases that could result in significant legal liabilities. Obtaining legal advice early in the process can help reduce the risk of escalation and ensure that the organization's response aligns with legal requirements. In conclusion, Section 25.4(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada creates specific obligations for public officers and their senior officials. Adherence to this law requires careful consideration of ethical and legal requirements, transparency, and effective communication with stakeholders. The strategies discussed above, like developing communication protocols, establishing information gathering processes, seeking legal advice where necessary, and clarifying the scope of the law, are critical in ensuring organizations comply with this law. By implementing these strategies, organizations can manage their risks, strengthen their reputation, and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders.

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