INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
Section 490.81(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada gives the court the power to order the destruction of property when it is satisfied that the property has little or no value, whether financial or otherwise. This section is important because it allows the court to dispose of property that is no longer of value to its owner or to society. The section applies to property that is subject to a forfeiture order, which is a court order that requires the owner of the property to forfeit it to the government. Forfeiture orders are typically issued after a conviction for a criminal offense, and they can apply to a wide range of property, including money, vehicles, and real estate. In some cases, the property may be of little or no value to anyone. For example, a car that is in such poor condition that it is not worth repairing may have little or no financial value, but it may also be of little value to anyone who might use it for parts or scrap. In such cases, the court may order that the property be destroyed rather than sold or otherwise disposed of. The purpose of this section is to allow the court to dispose of property that is no longer useful or valuable, without having to keep it in storage or sell it at a loss. This can help to reduce the cost and administrative burden of managing forfeited property, while ensuring that property that is of no use to anyone is not simply left to deteriorate. Overall, this section helps to ensure that forfeited property is disposed of in a fair and efficient manner, while also protecting the interests of the public.
Section 490.81(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada grants courts the power to order the destruction of forfeited properties that are deemed to have little or no value. The provision acknowledges that not all forfeited properties have financial worth, and allows for their disposal in a manner that is aligned with the goals of the crime prevention and justice system. The provision is relevant in the context of criminal law, where the state can seize assets, property, and other items that are connected to criminal activity. In many cases, these assets may be sold, and the proceeds would be directed towards compensating victims, paying restitution, or funding law enforcement activities. However, in some instances, the seized property may have little or no financial value and it may not be suitable for sale. One of the key advantages of this section is that it allows courts to order the destruction of forfeited properties that are likely to have no other use. For example, a drug dealer's stash of illegal drugs or a counterfeit item that has been seized would have no legitimate use, and it may not be in the public interest for them to be sold or distributed. In such cases, the destruction of the items would be a more suitable option. This not only ensures that these items do not fall into the wrong hands or find their way back into the market, but it also sends a strong signal to other criminals and would-be offenders. Another advantage of this provision is that it can save time and resources for the justice system. If there is little or no financial value in a seized item, attempting to sell it or find another use for the item may be more trouble than it is worth. By allowing for the destruction of these items, courts can expedite the process of forfeiture and ensure that resources are used in a more judicious manner. However, there are certain limitations to Section 490.81(7) that need to be addressed. For one thing, the provision does not differentiate between physical items and intangible assets. For example, forfeiting a website domain or seizing social media accounts may be just as important in some instances as seizing physical items. However, it can be challenging to determine the financial value of these assets, which might lead to problems with interpreting and enforcing the provision. Additionally, this section lacks clear guidance on how determination can be made regarding whether a property has little or no value. There is no clear definition or guidance provided in the Criminal Code, leaving the determination to be made by the court in each case. This can lead to inconsistency in the application of the provision and create ambiguity that can limit its efficacy. In conclusion, Section 490.81(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that recognizes the need to dispose of forfeited properties that have little or no value. The provision provides benefits to the criminal justice system by allowing for the quick and efficient disposal of such items. However, there are limitations that need to be addressed to ensure its proper implementation consistent with the goals of the criminal justice system.
Section 490.81(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada gives the courts the authority to order the destruction of property if it is determined that the property has little or no value, whether financial or other. Strategic considerations must be taken into account when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada since it can significantly impact the outcome of a case. One of the main strategic considerations is determining whether the property in question has any value, whether financial or otherwise. If the property does have value, it may not be in the best interest of the defendant to have it destroyed. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to sell the property and use the proceeds to repay any outstanding debts or fines. If the property does not have any significant value, another strategy is to negotiate with the prosecution or the court to have the property forfeited instead of destroyed. Forfeiture of property would mean that the property would be seized and used for a public purpose, such as law enforcement or community needs. This may be a more favorable outcome for the defendant since the property would still be serving a purpose rather than being destroyed. Another strategy would be to challenge the court's determination that the property has little or no value. This can be done by presenting expert testimony or evidence that shows that the property has significant value. It may also be possible to argue that the destruction of the property would result in hardship for the defendant, such as loss of income or a negative impact on their business. Ultimately, the strategy employed will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, such as the value of the property in question and the defendant's goals. It is important for defendants to work closely with their legal counsel to determine the best approach when dealing with section 490.81(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada.