section 431.2(2)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The section outlines the criminal offence and punishment for delivering or detonating an explosive with intent to cause harm or damage to public places, transportation systems, or infrastructure facilities.

SECTION WORDING

431.2(2) Every one who delivers, places, discharges or detonates an explosive or other lethal device to, into, in or against a place of public use, a government or public facility, a public transportation system or an infrastructure facility, either with intent to cause death or serious bodily injury or with intent to cause extensive destruction of such a place, system or facility that results in or is likely to result in major economic loss, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

EXPLANATION

Section 431.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that criminalizes the use of explosive or other lethal devices against public places, facilities, transportation systems or infrastructure facilities. The section seeks to protect these public amenities that are essential to the well-being of society and economy by rendering it a criminal offense to intentionally cause loss of life or serious bodily injury or extensively destroy them leading to major economic losses. The provision identifies four groups of places that are protected by the Criminal Code of Canada. The first is the place of public use. It includes all places that are intended for public access or use such as public parks, markets, malls, and stadiums. Next is the government or public facility, which includes any structure, building, or facility owned, operated, or used by the government for public services or administration. Thirdly, public transportation systems including buses, trains, and airplanes are covered under the provision. Lastly, any infrastructure facility such as power stations, dams, water treatment plants, or telecommunication systems falls under the purview of this section. The section applies to those who intentionally deliver, place, discharge or detonate an explosive or any other lethal device, with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury or cause destruction to the infrastructure, resulting in major economic loss. The legal consequences for committing such an offense are severe, with a guilty verdict attracting an indictable offense and imprisonment for life. In conclusion, the protection of public places and facilities from any form of attack is essential for the well-being of society and the economy. Criminalizing the use of explosives or lethal devices against these facilities is necessary to safeguard against terrorism and other criminal activities that may endanger the lives of innocent people. This section serves as a deterrent to would-be offenders, ensuring that they understand the severity of the act, and the legal consequences that follow.

COMMENTARY

Section 431.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the serious offence of using explosives or lethal devices in a way that endangers the lives of the public or causes significant damage to public infrastructure. This section is designed to protect public safety and security and ensure that individuals who pose a threat to the community are held accountable for their actions. The section outlines two distinct sets of circumstances that may give rise to an offence. The first is where an individual delivers, places, discharges or detonates an explosive or lethal device with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury. This offence is clearly aimed at preventing terrorist acts or other acts of violence that could cause significant harm to individuals or groups of people. The second set of circumstances described in the section is where an individual uses an explosive or lethal device with the intent to cause extensive destruction to public facilities, transportation systems or infrastructure facilities. This is a broader offence that is intended to capture a range of scenarios where the use of explosives or other lethal devices could cause significant damage to public property or create a major safety risk. The section is carefully worded to ensure that individuals who engage in these types of activities can be held accountable for their actions. The use of the phrase "intent to cause" is significant, as it means that individuals who accidentally cause damage to public property or endanger public safety will not be subject to criminal liability under this section. In addition, the requirement that the damage or destruction caused must result in or be likely to result in major economic loss is significant, as it ensures that the offence is only triggered in cases where the impact on public safety and the economy is significant. Overall, section 431.2(2) plays an important role in protecting public safety and security in Canada. By creating a clear offence for the use of explosives or other lethal devices in public places, the Criminal Code ensures that individuals who engage in these types of activities can be held accountable for their actions. At the same time, the section is carefully crafted to ensure that innocent individuals are not unfairly targeted or subjected to criminal liability for accidental damage or other unintended consequences of their actions. In conclusion, section 431.2(2) is a vital part of Canada's criminal justice system. It serves to create a clear legal framework for dealing with the use of explosives and other lethal devices in public places, while ensuring that public safety and security are protected. As such, it plays an important role in promoting the rule of law and upholding Canadians' fundamental rights and freedoms.

STRATEGY

Section 431.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada criminalizes the use of explosive devices against places of public use, government facilities, public transportation systems, and infrastructure facilities. This provision is designed to protect the public from acts of terrorism and other violent crimes that can cause death or serious bodily injury. However, it also raises some strategic considerations for law enforcement agencies and prosecutors when dealing with potential cases. One of the key strategic considerations is the need to balance public safety against civil liberties. While this provision is designed to protect the public, law enforcement agencies must ensure that their enforcement activities do not infringe on the rights of individuals who may be mistakenly identified as potential suspects. In addition, they must consider the broader implications of taking aggressive enforcement actions, such as the potential impact on public perceptions of the government and law enforcement agencies. Another important consideration is the need to gather evidence that can be used in court. In order to hold someone accountable under this provision, prosecutors must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual in question delivered, placed, discharged, or detonated an explosive device with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury or extensive destruction of a place of public use. This can be challenging, as gathering evidence in cases involving explosive devices can be complicated. One strategy that could be employed is to focus on intelligence gathering and information sharing between law enforcement agencies. By sharing information and collaborating on investigations, law enforcement agencies can improve their ability to identify potential threats and gather evidence that can be used in court. In addition, they may be able to use technology and other resources to help them track down suspects and gather evidence more effectively. Another strategy is to focus on prevention. Rather than waiting for an explosion to occur, law enforcement agencies can work to identify potential threats and intervene before they escalate. This could involve working with community organizations and other stakeholders to identify at-risk individuals and provide them with the support they need to avoid engaging in violent behavior. Finally, law enforcement agencies may need to consider the potential international implications of enforcing this provision. As acts of terrorism become increasingly global in nature, law enforcement agencies may need to coordinate with foreign counterparts and navigate the legal and cultural challenges that come with working across international borders. In conclusion, Section 431.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada raises a number of strategic considerations for law enforcement agencies and prosecutors. By balancing public safety concerns with civil liberties, gathering evidence effectively, and coordinating with other agencies and stakeholders, they can work to enforce this provision while minimizing any unintended consequences.