section 283(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Anyone who takes or harbours a child with intent to deprive a parent or guardian of possession can face imprisonment.

SECTION WORDING

283(1) Every one who, being the parent, guardian or person having the lawful care or charge of a person under the age of fourteen years, takes, entices away, conceals, detains, receives or harbours that person, whether or not there is a custody order in relation to that person made by a court anywhere in Canada, with intent to deprive a parent or guardian, or any other person who has the lawful care or charge of that person, of the possession of that person, is guilty of (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

EXPLANATION

Section 283(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the offence of abduction of a child under the age of fourteen years. This section criminalizes the conduct of parents, guardians, or anyone who has the lawful care or charge of a child, who takes, entices away, conceals, detains, receives, or harbours a child with the intent to deprive a parent, guardian, or any other person who has lawful care or charge of the child, of their possession. This section recognizes that children are vulnerable and require the protection of the law. It seeks to protect the rights of parents, guardians, and those who have lawful care or charge of a child to maintain custody of the child. The section applies whether or not there is a custody order in relation to the child made by a court anywhere in Canada, emphasizing the importance of the child's welfare and security. The offence under section 283(1) is a serious one that carries a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment if prosecuted as an indictable offence, or a punishment prescribed by law if prosecuted on summary conviction. This reflects the gravity of the harm that can be experienced by a child who is abducted and separated from their lawful caregiver. In conclusion, section 283(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that seeks to protect the welfare and security of children by criminalizing the conduct of those who seek to deprive others of their lawful custody. It underscores the importance of parental and caregiver responsibilities in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children.

COMMENTARY

Section 283(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the crime of child abduction. It is an offence that is taken very seriously by the Canadian legal system, which recognizes the harm that can be inflicted upon a child who is taken away from their parent or guardian without their consent. This section applies to anyone who takes, entices away, conceals, detains, receives, or harbours a child under the age of 14 years, whether or not there is a custody order in relation to that child, with the intent to deprive a parent or guardian, or any other person who has the lawful care or charge of that child, of the possession of that child. The offence is an indictable one, which means that it is considered a very serious crime. If convicted, the person responsible for the abduction can be sentenced to imprisonment for up to 10 years. Additionally, the Crown may choose to proceed with a summary conviction, which can result in a fine or imprisonment for up to two years less a day. The reason for the harsh penalties associated with child abduction is twofold. First, the law recognizes the importance of preserving the family unit and the relationship between a child and their parent or guardian. Abducting a child is a violation of this important bond and can have long-lasting emotional consequences for both the child and the parent or guardian. Second, the law recognizes the potential for harm to the child when they are taken away from their primary caregiver. This can include physical harm, emotional harm, and psychological trauma. It is important to note that the offence of child abduction can be committed even if there is no court order granting custody to either parent. It is also worth noting that the term "detain" in this section refers to conduct that reasonably interferes with a parent's or guardian's control over their child, even if the child consents to being detained. This recognizes that children may not always fully understand the consequences of their actions and that it is the responsibility of adults to act in their best interests. The offence of child abduction is not only applicable to parents or guardians but to any person who has lawful care or charge of a child. This can include teachers, social workers, or anyone who has been entrusted with the care of a child. In conclusion, Section 283(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves to protect the critical relationship between a child and their parent or guardian and recognizes the potential harm that can result from a child being taken away from their primary caregiver. The section firmly establishes the consequences of such an action and is an important tool for prosecutors seeking to bring charges against those who would seek to violate the familial bond that exists between a child and their parent or guardian.

STRATEGY

Section 283(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the offence of abduction of a child under the age of 14. This offence is taken very seriously and can result in a criminal sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Therefore, it is important to understand the strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. One of the first strategic considerations is to determine the intent behind the actions of the person accused of the offence. The offence of abduction requires that the person charged had the intent to deprive a parent or guardian of the possession of the child. Therefore, the prosecution must prove that the accused had the specific intent to commit the offence. If there is insufficient evidence to prove intent, the charges may be reduced or dismissed. Another important factor to consider is the relationship between the accused and the child. The section states that the person charged must be the parent, guardian, or person having lawful care or charge of the child. Therefore, it is important to establish whether the accused had lawful authority to take or detain the child. For example, if the accused was a babysitter or temporary guardian with permission to take the child, they may not be guilty of abduction. The presence of a custody order may also affect the charges. The section states that the offence can still be committed regardless of whether there is a custody order in place. However, if there is a custody order, the terms of the custody order may impact the charges that are laid. For example, if the accused had visitation rights or joint custody of the child, they may not be guilty of abduction. There are also some defence strategies that can be employed in cases of abduction. The first strategy is to challenge the intent of the accused. If there is insufficient evidence to prove that the accused had the specific intent to deprive a parent or guardian of the possession of the child, the charges may be reduced or dismissed. Another strategy is to argue that the accused had lawful authority to take or detain the child. This may involve providing evidence that the accused had permission to take the child or had lawful authority as a guardian or parent. Lastly, it may be possible to use a defence of necessity. This argument suggests that the accused had no choice but to take or detain the child in order to protect them from harm or danger. This strategy is often difficult to use in cases of abduction, but may be applicable in certain circumstances. In conclusion, section 283(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a serious offence that can result in a lengthy prison sentence. It is important to understand the strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the Code, and to employ effective defence strategies if charges are laid. By understanding the law and developing effective defence strategies, it is possible to mitigate the impact of a charge and protect one's legal rights.