section 477.2(4)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Consent of the Attorney General must be filed with the court in relation to certain proceedings.

SECTION WORDING

477.2(4) The consent of the Attorney General required by subsection (1), (2) or (3) must be filed with the clerk of the court in which the proceedings have been instituted.

EXPLANATION

Section 477.2(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that outlines the requirement for the consent of the Attorney General in cases where subsection (1), (2), or (3) is pertinent. This consent must be filed with the clerk of the court in which the proceedings have been instituted. Essentially, this provision refers to the need to secure the approval of the federal or provincial Attorney General before initiating certain proceedings under the Criminal Code of Canada. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that the prosecution of certain types of offenses is consistent with the policies and priorities of the Attorney General. Such offenses may include those involving national security, terrorism, or organized crime. By requiring the consent of the Attorney General, this provision ensures that inappropriate prosecutions are not initiated, while also providing a safeguard against the abuse of prosecutorial power. In practice, the requirement for the Attorney Generals consent can have a significant impact on the timing and outcome of a criminal case. It can delay the prosecution of certain types of offenses and can make it more difficult for prosecutors to secure convictions. However, this provision also helps to ensure that the prosecution of these offenses is handled in a careful and appropriate manner, and that the interests of justice are served. Overall, Section 477.2(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada plays an important role in the administration of justice in Canada. Its purpose is to promote the fair and effective prosecution of criminal offenses, while also safeguarding against abuses of power by law enforcement and prosecutorial authorities.

COMMENTARY

Section 477.2(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada dictates that consent from the Attorney General must be obtained and filed with the court in which proceedings have been initiated for subsections 1, 2, and 3. This provision implies that the Attorney General plays a crucial role in the prosecution of specific criminal offenses. The requirement for the prosecutor to seek the Attorney General's consent is relevant in cases where they intend to lay charges for various offenses connected to terrorism, political offenses, or offenses against foreign states. This provision also applies when the prosecutor will initiate proceedings in matters that may impact national security, such as when the accused holds high ranking positions in the government or military. Notably, the prosecutor must obtain consent from the Attorney General to commence proceedings under Section 83.18, which deals with instructing or facilitating the commission of a terrorism act, or Section 83.181, which is related to participating in or contributing to the commission of terrorist activity. It is expedient to obtain the Attorney General's consent when dealing with terrorism offenses as these offences could impact national security. In general, the primary purpose of obtaining the Attorney General's consent is to ensure that charges are only laid in the appropriate and necessary circumstances. The Attorney General's involvement ensures that the prosecution is sensitive to the wider effects of criminal proceedings in matters that could affect the national interest and security. Additionally, the requirement for obtaining consent from the Attorney General promotes a level of transparency in the court proceedings. The prosecutor must file the Attorney General's consent with the court, indicating that the defendant's charges have been approved and authorized by the Attorney General. This requirement ensures that the court and the public at large are aware that the government has authorized the specific criminal charges laid against the defendant. While the Attorney General's involvement in criminal proceedings may cause some delays in the prosecution process, these delays are necessary to ensure that the proceedings are handled appropriately. Unfortunately, some defendants may use these delays to their advantage by claiming that the prosecution is using weak evidence or causing undue delay. However, it is essential to appreciate that the Attorney General's objectives are primarily focused on the interests of the state over immediate justice. Moreover, Section 477.2(4) serves to protect the presumption of innocence of the accused. When the Attorney General's consent is required, it signifies that there is a high probability of guilt that requires intentionality and careful consideration. Hence, this requirement reduces the risk of unwarranted prosecutions or arbitrary criminal charges that could violate the defendant's rights. In conclusion, Section 477.2(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the need for obtaining the Attorney General's consent in specific criminal proceedings. While this requirement may cause delays in the prosecution, it ensures that justice is served in a manner that protects national interests and human rights. Obtaining the consent of the Attorney General fosters transparency that helps maintain public confidence in the criminal justice system, ensuring that the state is acting in the welfare of its citizens.

STRATEGY

Section 477.2(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides that the Attorney Generals consent is required before any special procedures or communications can take place in cases that deal with classified information. Obtaining the consent of the Attorney General is a crucial aspect of such cases, and it requires careful consideration and strategic planning. One of the key strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada is the nature of the information in question. If the classified information is essential to the defense, the accused's lawyer must obtain consent from the Attorney General for the use of such information in the trial. For instance, suppose an accused argues that they did not commit the crime and that the classified information will support their claim. In that case, the accused's lawyer must seek the Attorney General's consent to disclose the information to the court. Another crucial strategic consideration is the timing of obtaining the Attorney General's consent. Defense counsel must ensure that they have sufficient time to prepare their application for consent and filing it with the court clerk before trial. They may have to negotiate with the Attorney General's office to expedite the process, which can be time-consuming and may require expertise. Strategic lawyers might also opt to negotiate with the prosecutor about the use of classified information instead of seeking the Attorney General's consent. In some cases, the prosecutor may agree to provide a summary of the classified information rather than disclosing the information in full. This approach can protect national security interests by keeping such information from becoming publicly available. Similarly, it can provide a more straightforward way of exchanging information between the parties without involving the Attorney General. Lawyers can also employ the strategy of obtaining a certification under section 38 of the Canada Evidence Act. If the information qualifies as "sensitive information," then the parties can exchange the information under the certification of a minister or prescribed official. In this way, the parties can obtain the information without relying on the consent of the Attorney General, which can be a strategic advantage for the defense team. In conclusion, obtaining the consent of the Attorney General required by Section 477.2(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a complex and strategically important issue in cases that involve classified information. Different strategies can be employed before and during the trial to secure the Attorney Generals consent or to protect national security interests. Defense attorneys must carefully consider the best strategies for their clients while balancing the need for classified information and the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of national security.