section 320.1(4)


If the person who posted the material does not appear for the proceedings, the court can proceed without them.


320.1(4) If the person who posted the material does not appear for the proceedings, the court may proceed ex parte to hear and determine the proceedings in the absence of the person as fully and effectually as if the person had appeared.


Section 320.1(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that allows a court to proceed with the hearing and determination of a case involving online hate speech when the person who posted the content is absent. This provision is designed to ensure that cases involving online hate speech can be dealt with effectively, even when the accused cannot be present. Online hate speech is a growing problem in Canada, and it has become increasingly common for individuals to use the internet as a platform to express their discriminatory beliefs and attitudes. Section 320.1(4) of the Criminal Code is one of the ways in which the Canadian legal system seeks to address this issue. If a person is accused of online hate speech, they will be required to appear in court to face the charges. However, if they do not attend the proceedings, the court can still proceed with the hearing and make a determination of the case in their absence. This allows the court to deal with cases of online hate speech efficiently, ensuring that justice is served even when the accused is not present. In addition to allowing the court to proceed with a case in the absence of the accused, Section 320.1(4) also ensures that the determination made by the court is just and effective. The provision allows the court to hear and determine the proceedings as fully as if the person had appeared, which means that all aspects of the case will be considered and weighed appropriately. Overall, Section 320.1(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that allows the legal system to address the issue of online hate speech effectively. By allowing the court to proceed with cases when the accused is absent, this provision ensures that individuals who engage in hate speech online are held accountable for their actions.


Section 320.1(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada grants the court the authority to proceed ex parte even if the person who posted the material is absent from the proceedings. In simple terms, this section provides that if a person is accused of posting illegal material online and fails to appear before a court of law, the court can proceed to hear and determine the case without the accused person present. The practical application of this section in criminal trials involving the posting of illegal material online is significant. Firstly, it enables the court to make a finding based on the available evidence without being hampered by the absence of the accused person. This provision has several advantages, including the efficient handling of the case and the preservation of the rights of the complainants. It ensures that the accused does not have the ability to avoid legal consequences for their actions by choosing not to appear in court. Additionally, it ensures that victims of such crimes receive justice. This section also ensures that justice is not delayed unnecessarily. The court is empowered to proceed with the trial, and the accused person's inability to appear does not hinder legal proceedings. Thus, the court is in a position to deliver justice to all affected parties on time. Thirdly, this provision underlines the importance of the law and its enforcement in preserving the fundamental right to freedom of speech. Online media platforms have created the opportunity for people to share their opinions on different subjects without censorship. Notably, such freedom of expression comes with its risks, including online threats, cyberbullying, hate speech, and other types of illegal material online that the accused persons may distribute on the Internet. It's worth noting that freedom of speech is not an unlimited right. The law penalizes individuals who post material that violates the rights of others, such as the distribution of pirated content, harassment, hate speech, among others. Section 320.1(4) makes it clear that anyone who violates this law should be held accountable regardless of their presence in court. In conclusion, section 320.1(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a necessary provision that highlights the importance of delivering justice when it comes to the distribution of illegal material online. It ensures that the victim's rights are protected, and justice is served even if the accused is absent in court. It represents another crucial step towards combating illegal behavior online by holding platforms, individuals, and entities accountable for their actions.


Section 320.1(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides that if the person who posted the material does not appear for the proceedings, the court may proceed ex parte to hear and determine the case as if the person had appeared. This provision presents strategic considerations that individuals and corporations need to take into account when dealing with it. Firstly, section 320.1(4) limits an individual or corporation's ability to defend themselves when they do not appear for the proceedings. This provision allows the court to proceed without the accused person present, and any evidence that is submitted against them is admissible and treated the same as if the person were present. Therefore, failing to attend a hearing could have significant implications for an accused person or corporation, leading to harsh sanctions, including fines, imprisonment, or significant reputational harm. Secondly, as a result of the ex parte nature of proceedings under section 320.1(4), it is vital that individuals or corporations be proactive in their defence and ensure that they obtain proper legal representation. However, they must choose a lawyer who is familiar with the specific criminal law or regulations that apply to their case. Getting the wrong lawyer may lead to wrongful conviction, which could lead to ultimate destruction of reputation and disastrous financial consequences. Thirdly, there should be adequate communication and cooperation between the legal representation and the accused person/corporation. This is necessary to ensure that the legal team is always up to date on the facts of the case and can develop the best strategy to defend an accused person. Effective communication also helps the legal team provide complete and persuasive evidence to the court. Lastly, individuals or corporations should be aware of the potential impact of the case on their reputation or future business. A conviction or even being associated with criminal charges could be disastrous to a business's reputation and cause significant financial losses. Thus, those accused of cyber offense should be cautious and act quickly by seeking legal representation immediately or consult a specialist in the field. One strategic consideration when dealing with section 320.1(4) is to ensure prior to the proceedings that the person responsible for posting the material is aware of the possible consequences and is willing and able to attend the court hearing. The person accused may feel the urge to protect their image or their business's reputation by not attending proceedings, which may result in adverse outcomes for them. Another strategy may be to present evidence that supports the accused person's defence before the proceedings. This may create reasonable doubt and increase the accused person's chances of being acquitted even if they do not attend the proceedings. Furthermore, individuals or corporations may consider negotiating with the prosecution to drop charges or reduce sanctions. In some cases, the prosecution may opt to negotiate to a lesser crime or drop the charges altogether if there is adequate evidence to support their case. Individuals or corporations should make sure they are well-informed of their rights under the law, including their right to counsel, and consider all the options available to them. In conclusion, individuals or corporations must be knowledgeable about the Criminal Code of Canada section 320.1(4) and considered all possible strategies when dealing with issues that are determined under this provision. An individual or corporation must act proactively and quickly, with proper legal representation for the best possible outcome when this section applies. Therefore, it is essential to seek legal assistance promptly to prepare a proper defence strategy.