section 278.9(2)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Violating subsection 1 of section 278.9 is a punishable offense on summary conviction.

SECTION WORDING

278.9(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

EXPLANATION

Section 278.9(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada pertains to the offence of violating a court order made under Section 278.8, which deals with the protection of witnesses in criminal proceedings involving sexual offences. Subsection (1) of Section 278.9 sets out two prohibited acts: interfering or attempting to interfere with the attendance of a witness at a criminal proceeding, or communicating information about the identity or location of a witness who is under protection. Therefore, Section 278.9(2) states that anyone who contravenes subsection (1) will be found guilty of an offence. The offence is classified as one that can be punished through summary conviction. It means that the maximum punishment that can be awarded for such an offence is imprisonment of up to two years, a fine of up to CAD 5,000, or both. The issue of witness protection in sexual offence cases is highly sensitive and critical to the success of such criminal proceedings. Witnesses and victims of sexual offences often require protection due to the nature of the crime and fear of retaliation. Section 278.9 seeks to ensure that witnesses under protection receive the necessary support and safety measures to enable them to participate in the court process without any hindrance. In conclusion, Section 278.9(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves to deter individuals from interfering with any protected witness in a sexual offence proceeding and imposes punishment on those who do so. By doing this, the section ensures that sexual offence trials remain fair and transparent, and critical witnesses can testify without any fear of retaliation or intimidation.

COMMENTARY

The Criminal Code of Canada is a comprehensive legal framework that sets out provisions for the prosecution and punishment of criminal offenses in Canada. One such provision is section 278.9(2), which deals with the offense of failing to comply with a recognizance. In simple terms, this section provides that any person who contravenes subsection (1) of the same section is guilty of an offense punishable on summary conviction. Subsection (1) of section 278.9 sets out the conditions and requirements of a recognizance - a legal agreement that a person enters into, usually with the court's permission, to ensure that they will comply with certain conditions or restrictions. These conditions may include not having contact with certain people, staying away from particular places, or surrendering one's passport. The purpose of a recognizance is to ensure that the person will not threaten or harm the alleged victim or any other person involved in the criminal proceedings. If a person fails to comply with the conditions of a recognizance, they will be charged with an offense under section 278.9(2). This offense is considered a summary conviction offense, which means that it is less severe than an indictable offense and carries a lower maximum penalty. The maximum penalty for failing to comply with a recognizance is generally a fine of $5,000 and/or six months imprisonment (although the penalty may be higher, depending on the circumstances). Section 278.9(2) is an important provision because it helps to ensure that victims and other persons involved in criminal proceedings are protected from potential harm. By requiring persons who are subject to a recognizance to comply with certain conditions, the courts can help to ensure that these individuals do not pose a threat to others and that the criminal justice process is not impeded. By providing a penalty for those who fail to comply with a recognizance, the law sends a message that such behavior will not be tolerated. While section 278.9(2) serves an essential function in the criminal justice system, it is not without its issues. One challenge is that some people may accidentally violate the conditions of their recognizance, such as by going to a place they were prohibited from attending without realizing it was off-limits. In such cases, the accused may not have intended to violate their recognizance, but may face criminal charges nonetheless. Another issue is that some people may have difficulty complying with the conditions of their recognizance, particularly if the conditions are overly restrictive or onerous. For example, a person who is required to stay away from their home or workplace may find it difficult to comply with their recognizance if they are not able to find alternative housing or employment. In such cases, marginalization and systemic biases faced by some groups such as Indigenous people, refugees, and immigrants may further complicate their circumstances, making it difficult to comply with restrictive conditions. In conclusion, section 278.9(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an essential provision that helps to ensure that the criminal justice system functions properly by requiring persons under recognizance to comply with certain conditions and imposing penalties for those who fail to do so. However, there are challenges associated with this provision, including the potential for accidental violations and the difficulty some individuals may have in complying with their conditions. These issues underline the need for a fair and equitable criminal justice system that can balance the needs of all stakeholders while protecting the rights of accused persons and victims alike.

STRATEGY

Section 278.9(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that deals with the offense of breaching a recognizance order in relation to a peace bond. A peace bond is a court order that is issued to ensure that an individual who poses a threat to the safety and well-being of others does not present any further danger. The peace bond usually contains several conditions that the accused must abide by. A breach of any of these conditions is a serious offense, and the accused may face severe penalties. When dealing with Section 278.9(2), there are numerous strategic considerations that must be taken into account. These considerations are essential in ensuring that the accused receives the best possible outcome in their case. Firstly, the accused must ensure that they understand the charges against them and the evidence that the prosecution may present. This will enable them to develop a strong defense strategy that can challenge the prosecution's case. Another strategic consideration is to negotiate with the crown attorney. In some cases, the accused may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution, which could result in a reduced sentence or lesser charges. However, negotiating with the crown attorney requires careful consideration to ensure that the accused does not give up too much in exchange for a better deal. Another strategy that can be employed is to seek legal representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A competent lawyer will ensure that the accused's rights are protected and that the prosecution's evidence is challenged. Additionally, a lawyer will be able to negotiate with the crown attorney and develop a well-planned defense strategy that can help the accused achieve the best possible outcome. Early intervention is also an essential strategy when dealing with Section 278.9(2). The accused should seek legal representation as soon as they become aware of the charges against them. This will allow for a thorough investigation of the case, documentation of evidence for the accused, and the opportunity for the accused to understand the charges against them and their legal rights. It is also essential to understand the penalties for breaching the recognizance order. A breach of the peace bond is a serious offense punishable by imprisonment. Depending on the severity of the breach, the accused may face penalties ranging from six months up to two years in jail, and the sentence can be served consecutively to any other sentence that is currently being served. In conclusion, Section 278.9(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that deals with the offense of breaching a peace bond. When dealing with this section, there are numerous strategic considerations that must be taken into account. Negotiating with the crown attorney, early intervention, seeking legal representation, and understanding the penalties are all key strategies that the accused can utilize to achieve the best possible outcome.