section 486.5(9)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section prohibits the publication of any information that could identify a victim, witness, or justice system participant in proceedings unless authorized by a judge or justice.

SECTION WORDING

486.5(9) Unless the judge or justice refuses to make an order, no person shall publish in any document or broadcast or transmit in any way (a) the contents of an application; (b) any evidence taken, information given or submissions made at a hearing under subsection (6); or (c) any other information that could identify the person to whom the application relates as a victim, witness or justice system participant in the proceedings.

EXPLANATION

Section 486.5(9) of the Criminal Code of Canada is intended to protect the privacy and dignity of victims, witnesses and justice system participants in criminal proceedings. The provision prohibits the publication or transmission of any information that could reveal the identity of parties involved in an application or hearing under subsection (6), including the contents of the application, evidence or submissions made in court, and any other information that could identify the victim, witness or justice system participant. The purpose of this provision is to safeguard the privacy of individuals who participate in the criminal justice system, and to prevent them from being stigmatized or subjected to further harm, such as retaliation or intimidation. This provision is particularly important in cases involving sexual assault, domestic violence, and other sensitive matters, where victims may be vulnerable and at risk of being re-traumatized if their identities are disclosed publicly. Violating this provision can result in serious consequences, including fines and imprisonment. It is therefore essential that individuals, including media and other parties, respect the privacy and confidentiality of victims, witnesses, and justice system participants in criminal proceedings. This section is crucial in enforcing the Canadian legal system's commitment to justice, fairness, and respect of human rights.

COMMENTARY

Section 486.5(9) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the restrictions on making public the contents of an application, evidence taken, information given, or submissions made at a hearing under subsection (6). The section also prohibits any other information that could identify the person to whom the application relates as a victim, witness, or justice system participant in the proceedings. The purpose of this section is to protect the privacy of individuals involved in criminal proceedings. Victims and witnesses should be able to come forward with their evidence without fear of retaliation or harm from the accused and their supporters. The law recognizes the potential risks that may arise from revealing the identity of these individuals and therefore provides them with a certain level of protection by prohibiting their identification. Furthermore, the section recognizes the importance of transparency in the court proceedings but also balances the need for privacy. While the public has a right to know about court proceedings, there are certain rights of privacy that must be considered. The restrictions imposed by this section may seem excessive to some, but they are necessary to ensure the safety and protection of individuals involved in criminal proceedings. These individuals are often vulnerable and need to be protected from intimidation, threats, and retaliation. The prohibition on publishing information that could identify a victim, witness, or justice system participant in the proceedings also helps to ensure that these individuals are not unfairly stigmatized or discriminated against. In cases of sexual assault or domestic violence, for example, the victim's privacy should be protected to prevent further harm and to encourage victims to come forward. While there are some exceptions to the restrictions imposed under this section, such as obtaining a judge's or justice's permission to reveal certain information, the strict prohibition serves as a reminder to the public that we must respect the privacy of those involved in criminal proceedings. In conclusion, Section 486.5(9) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an essential provision for protecting the privacy and safety of individuals involved in criminal proceedings. It balances the need for transparency in court proceedings with the need for privacy, and also helps to prevent further harm and discrimination against victims and witnesses. The section's strict prohibition on revealing information that could identify these individuals serves as a reminder to all of us that we must respect their privacy and safety.

STRATEGY

Section 486.5(9) of the Criminal Code of Canada is designed to protect the privacy of individuals involved in criminal proceedings as victims, witnesses, or justice system participants. When dealing with this section, strategic considerations need to be made to ensure that sensitive information is not disclosed to the public without appropriate measures in place. Some key considerations include: 1. Understanding the Scope of the Section: It is essential to know the boundaries of the section to prevent any inadvertent violation of the code. By knowing what information can and cannot be disclosed, it's possible to craft strategies that protect individuals' privacy, ensuring that confidential or sensitive information remains secure. 2. Securing the Privacy of the Witnesses: A key strategic consideration is to protect the privacy of the witnesses. Parties involved in the criminal matter should first take steps to prevent any unauthorized access to the personal information of witnesses. This involves placing strict limits on who can access this information, whether physical, electronic, or paper. 3. Protecting the Reputation of the Victim: This section of the code also protects the victim's reputation by preventing any disclosure of the sensitive information about their case, which could negatively impact them. Lawyers representing the victim can take appropriate measures, such as requesting publication bans, to ensure the privacy of their client. 4. Crafting a Selective Disclosure Strategy: Suppose a party needs to disclose certain confidential information to other parties, such as witnesses or experts. In that case, it's possible to craft a selective disclosure strategy to ensure that only the necessary information is revealed. This can involve redacting confidential details and only providing the bare minimum necessary to accomplish the goal. 5. Creating an Effective Protection Order: It is essential to create an effective protection order to protect individuals' personal information involved in the criminal proceedings. This order should clearly state what information cannot be disclosed, who can access it, and how long this protection will be in place. In conclusion, section 486.5(9) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves as an essential tool to safeguard the privacy of victims, witnesses, and justice system participants involved in criminal proceedings. Through careful strategic consideration, parties involved in the case can ensure that sensitive information remains confidential and private. Employing a combination of measures such as confidentiality laws, publication bans, and redaction can provide essential protection and ensure that privacy is maintained throughout the proceedings.