INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
486.2(5) The offences for the purposes of subsection (4) are (a) an offence under section 423.1, 467.11, 467.12 or 467.13, or a serious offence committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization; (b) a terrorism offence; (c) an offence under subsection 16(1) or (2), 17(1), 19(1), 20(1) or 22(1) of the Security of Information Act; or (d) an offence under subsection 21(1) or section 23 of the Security of Information Act that is committed in relation to an offence referred to in paragraph (c).
Section 486.2(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the offences that fall under the definition of "serious personal injury offence" in the context of invoking a reverse onus provision for bail hearings. Essentially, if the Crown believes that the accused should not be released on bail due to the seriousness of the offence and the potential danger they pose to the public, they can request that the accused prove why they should be released rather than the Crown having to prove why they should be kept in custody. The offences listed in this section that would trigger the reverse onus provision include serious crimes committed for the benefit of a criminal organization, terrorism offences, and offences under the Security of Information Act. This means that if someone is accused of one of these crimes, it becomes their burden to demonstrate that they should be released on bail, rather than the Crown having to argue why they should remain in custody. Overall, this section is meant to provide a greater level of protection to the public by making it harder for those accused of serious or potentially dangerous crimes to be released on bail. It acknowledges that some offences are so serious that the risk of releasing someone into the community is simply too high. By requiring these accused individuals to provide evidence for their release, the justice system can ensure that those who pose a real danger to others are kept off the streets until their trial.
Section 486.2(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that deals with the testimony of witnesses in criminal trials. Specifically, it sets out the circumstances under which such witnesses may be subject to certain protections when testifying, such as being able to testify from behind a screen, or having their identity concealed. The provision outlines four specific categories of offences that may trigger these protections. The first of these is an offence under section 423.1, 467.11, 467.12 or 467.13 of the Criminal Code, or a serious offence committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization. These sections of the Criminal Code relate mostly to organized crime and the commission of offences within such contexts. The inclusion of these offences in the provision reflects the heightened risks that witnesses may face when testifying against criminal organizations, and the need to protect them accordingly. The second category of offences is terrorism offences. Given the high-profile nature of terrorism cases and the risks that witnesses may face when testifying in such cases, it is unsurprising that such offences would be included in this provision. The third category of offences is those under the Security of Information Act, specifically subsections 16(1) or (2), 17(1), 19(1), 20(1) or 22(1). These provisions relate to spying, espionage, and other activities that threaten the national security of Canada. Given the sensitivity and potential risks associated with these types of cases, it is understandable why witnesses in these cases may require special protections when testifying. Finally, the fourth category of offences is those under subsection 21(1) or section 23 of the Security of Information Act that are committed in relation to an offence referred to in paragraph (c). This provision essentially means that witnesses in cases related to national security offences may be afforded protections if they are at risk as a result of the nature of the case. Overall, section 486.2(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada represents an important tool for ensuring the safety and well-being of witnesses in certain types of criminal cases. By outlining specific categories of offences that may trigger these protections, the provision helps to ensure that those who put themselves at risk by testifying against criminal organizations or in cases related to national security can do so without fear of retribution. Ultimately, this provision reflects the importance of protecting brave individuals who stand up for justice and the rule of law.
Section 486.2(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the use of special measures to protect witnesses who have testified or are about to testify in criminal proceedings. Whenever a witness is deemed to be at risk of harm, injury, intimidation, or retaliation, the court may order the implementation of certain measures designed to safeguard their safety and security. Some of the measures that may be employed include the use of pseudonyms, publication bans, in-camera hearings, closed-circuit television, witness screens, and testimony via video or audio link. When dealing with Section 486.2(5), there are several strategic considerations that lawyers and court officials must keep in mind. The first consideration is determining whether a witness is indeed at risk of harm. This requires a careful assessment of the witness's personal circumstances, their relationship with the accused and other potential parties involved, and any other relevant factors that may impact their safety and security. If there is a credible threat of harm or intimidation, then the court may use its discretion to order special measures. Another strategic consideration is choosing the right set of measures that will best protect the witness's safety while balancing the competing interests of the accused's right to a fair trial and the public's right to know. Each case is unique, and the set of measures employed must be tailored to the specific needs of the witness and the circumstances of the case. For instance, if a witness is a minor, then it may be appropriate to use a pseudonym to protect their identity and prevent them from being stigmatized or subjected to bullying or harassment. Alternatively, if the accused is known to have ties with a criminal organization, then more robust measures such as witness protection programs and armed escorts may be necessary to ensure the witness's safety. A third strategic consideration is maintaining the integrity of the criminal justice system while balancing the need for confidentiality and anonymity. Special measures can help to protect witnesses from harm, but they can also raise concerns about transparency, fairness, and accountability. To mitigate these concerns, the court must ensure that special measures do not unduly restrict the accused's ability to make a full defense, cross-examine witnesses, or challenge evidence. The court must also balance the need for confidentiality with the public's right to know and ensure that the reasons for the measures taken are explained in a manner that does not compromise the witness's identity or safety. To sum up, dealing with Section 486.2(5) of the Criminal Code of Canada requires a strategic approach that balances the competing interests of protecting witnesses and ensuring a fair trial while also preserving the integrity of the criminal justice system. Lawyers and court officials must assess the risk of harm, choose the right set of measures, and maintain transparency, accountability, and confidentiality. With the right set of strategies, Section 486.2(5) can be used to protect witnesses and ensure a just and fair trial for all parties involved.