section 479

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

An accused person may plead guilty to an offence committed in their current province of residence with the consent of the Attorney General, and the court or judge will determine the punishment.

SECTION WORDING

479 Where an accused is charged with an offence that is alleged to have been committed in the province in which he is, he may, if the offence is not an offence mentioned in section 469 and (a) in the case of proceedings instituted at the instance of the Government of Canada and conducted by or on behalf of that Government, the Attorney General of Canada consents, or (b) in any other case, the Attorney General of the province where the offence is alleged to have been committed consents, appear before a court or judge that would have had jurisdiction to try that offence if it had been committed in the place where the accused is, and where the accused consents to plead guilty and pleads guilty to that offence, the court or judge shall determine the accused to be guilty of the offence and impose the punishment warranted by law, but where the accused does not consent to plead guilty and does not plead guilty, the accused shall, if the accused was in custody prior to appearance, be returned to custody and shall be dealt with according to law.

EXPLANATION

Section 479 of the Criminal Code of Canada states that if an individual is charged with an offense in the province where they are present, they may request to appear before a court or judge that has jurisdiction over the offense, provided that the offense is not included in section 469. The section also mandates that the consent of either the Attorney General of Canada or the Attorney General of the province where the offense is alleged to have been committed must be obtained. If the accused consents to plead guilty to the offense, the court will find them guilty of the offense, and the punishment mandated by law will be imposed. If the accused does not consent to plead guilty to the offense, they will be returned to custody and dealt with according to the law. The section allows individuals to plead guilty to an offense without having to travel to the location where the crime was committed, provided that they are present in the province where they are charged. This can aid in reducing the burden of traveling and time spent in court for both the accused and the court system. In summary, section 479 is an important provision that serves to streamline court proceedings and ensure that accused individuals have the option to plead guilty to an offense without the need to attend court proceedings in another province.

COMMENTARY

Section 479 of the Criminal Code of Canada establishes the legal framework for the appearance of an accused before a court or judge in the province where the offence was allegedly committed. This section stipulates that an accused who is charged with an offence that allegedly occurred in the province where they are can appear before a court or judge that would have had jurisdiction to try that offence if it had been committed in the place where the accused is. However, it should be noted that this provision applies only to offences that are not considered to be the most serious in nature and are not mentioned in Section 469 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Section 469 outlines the most serious offences, such as murder, and these offences are usually tried by a superior court judge and jury. In cases where proceedings are instituted at the instance of the Government of Canada and conducted on behalf of that government, the Attorney General of Canada must provide consent for the accused to appear before a court or judge. For any other case, the Attorney General of the province where the offence was allegedly committed must grant consent for the accused to appear. In situations where the accused consents to pleading guilty to the offence, the court or judge will determine their guilt and impose the punishment warranted by law. However, if the accused does not consent to pleading guilty or does not plead guilty, they will be returned to custody if they were in custody before their court appearance. In such cases, the accused will be dealt with according to the law. This provision of the Criminal Code of Canada aims to facilitate the administration of justice by enabling accused persons to appear in the jurisdiction where they are at the time of their arrest and avoid unnecessary transfers to other jurisdictions. This approach is cost-effective and efficient. It also allows the accused to plead guilty to the offence and avoid further delays in the legal process, and the judge or court can immediately impose the appropriate sentence. In conclusion, Section 479 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an appropriate framework for the administration of justice in cases where an accused is charged with an offence that allegedly occurred in the province where they are. It gives the accused the opportunity to plead guilty to the offence, which can save time and resources in the legal process. This provision also allows for the efficient administration of justice, as the accused can be tried and punished in the jurisdiction where they were arrested. Overall, this provision contributes to a fair and efficient justice system in Canada.

STRATEGY

Section 479 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an option for accused persons to appear in court in a different province where the alleged offence occurred. This provision can be valuable to both the accused person and the prosecution, depending on the circumstances of the case. To effectively manage cases under section 479, several strategic considerations must be taken into account. The first strategic consideration is whether or not to apply for consent from the relevant Attorney General for the accused to appear in a different province. The decision to seek such consent may depend on various factors, including the nature of the offence, the strength of the prosecution's case, and the potential benefits to the accused if the case is dealt with in a different province. One potential benefit of appearing in a different province is that the accused may be able to negotiate a plea deal that would not have been offered if the case was tried in the province where the offence was committed. For example, the accused may be able to negotiate a reduced sentence or have certain charges dropped in exchange for a guilty plea. However, it is important to note that any plea deal must be approved by the court and is subject to the same legal criteria regardless of the province in which it is made. Another strategic consideration is the potential impact that appearing in a different province may have on the accused's ability to post bail or to access legal counsel. If the accused is not familiar with the laws and procedures of the province in which they are appearing, they may be at a disadvantage in navigating the court process. In addition, the prosecution must consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of consenting to the accused appearing in a different province. For example, if the accused is likely to plead guilty and the prosecution has a strong case, they may prefer to have the case dealt with in the province where the offence occurred to minimize potential delays and expenses. On the other hand, if the prosecution is less certain about their case or if the accused's appearance in a different province may make it easier to negotiate a plea deal, they may consent to the accused appearing elsewhere. Overall, the decision to seek consent from the relevant Attorney General and the strategic considerations that must be taken into account will depend on the specific circumstances of each case. However, it is important for both the accused and the prosecution to carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of any decision to appear in a different province under section 479 of the Criminal Code.