section 491.2(2)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

A photograph of property taken with a certificate stating its details is admissible as evidence with the same probative force as the property itself.

SECTION WORDING

491.2(2) Every photograph of property taken under subsection (1), accompanied by a certificate of a person containing the statements referred to in subsection (3), shall be admissible in evidence and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, shall have the same probative force as the property would have had if it had been proved in the ordinary way.

EXPLANATION

Section 491.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the admissibility of photographs of property taken under subsection (1). This subsection relates to the investigation of crimes and allows individuals with lawful authority to enter and search premises, including those belonging to suspects and those believed to contain evidence of a crime. The use of photographs of the property is an important tool for investigators to document the condition and location of items seized, and to use as evidence in court proceedings. However, in order for these photographs to be used as evidence, they must be accompanied by a certificate of a person containing the statements referred to in subsection (3). This certificate must be signed by a person who was present at the time the photographs were taken and must contain specific details, such as the date and time they were taken, the identity of the property owner or possessor, and any other relevant information. Once this certificate has been prepared and the photographs have been taken, they are admissible in evidence in court proceedings. The section goes on to state that the photographs, along with the accompanying certificate, will have the same probative force as the property would have had if it had been proved in the ordinary way. This means that the photographs can be used to demonstrate the existence and condition of the property as evidence in court and can be relied upon in determining the guilt or innocence of an accused person. Overall, Section 491.2(2) is an important provision within the Criminal Code of Canada that helps to ensure the admissibility of photographic evidence in criminal investigations and court proceedings. By requiring that the photographs be accompanied by specific details and a certificate, this section helps to maintain the integrity and reliability of such evidence, ultimately serving to uphold the administration of justice in Canada.

COMMENTARY

Section 491.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada grants special privileges to photographs taken of property under certain circumstances. These photographs are admissible as evidence in a court of law, assuming they are accompanied by a certificate of statements from a certified individual. This section of the Criminal Code allows for photographic evidence to be used as an alternative to physical evidence, with the same weight given to these photos as would be given to the actual property. The purpose of this section is to provide certain protections for property owners and crime investigators. For property owners, this section allows them to provide visual evidence of any damage or theft to their property. With the proper certification, these photographs could prove in court that a crime had taken place and that damage was done to the property. This is particularly important for individuals who have suffered from theft or vandalism, as proving that these offences have occurred can often be challenging without physical evidence. For law enforcement and crime investigators, this section of the Criminal Code allows them to take photographs of the scene of a crime. These photographs can provide crucial evidence in the investigation process, offering visual proof that can help in prosecution. Additionally, as photographs do not degrade over time in the same way that physical evidence can, they can be useful in providing evidence years after the crime was committed. However, it's important to note that photographs taken as evidence are not inherently trustworthy. This is why Section 491.2(2) requires that photographs be accompanied by a certificate of statements from a certified individual. This certification is meant to guarantee that the photographs presented as evidence are authentic and were taken at the crime scene. Without certification, it would be possible to fabricate photographs, casting doubt on the accuracy of photographic evidence in court. Therefore, authentication is crucial, ensuring that justice is served and that individuals are held accountable for their crimes. In conclusion, Section 491.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves a crucial role in the justice system, allowing for photographic evidence to be admissible in court and used as an alternative to physical evidence. While the use of photographic evidence can be highly effective in criminal investigations, it's important that they are accompanied by a certificate of statements from a certified individual. This certification ensures the authenticity of the photographs, helping to maintain the integrity of our justice system.

STRATEGY

Section 491.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that allows for the admissibility of photographs of property taken under subsection (1) along with a certificate containing the statements referred to in subsection (3). The purpose of this provision is to provide a streamlined way of proving the existence and condition of property without requiring the physical presence of the property in court. However, there are a number of strategic considerations that need to be taken into account when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. Firstly, it is important to consider whether the use of photographs under subsection (1) is the most effective way of proving the existence and condition of property. This may depend on the nature of the case and the specific circumstances of the property in question. For example, if the property is unique or has particular distinguishing features that are difficult to capture in a photograph, it may be necessary to take additional steps to prove its existence and condition. Similarly, if the property is subject to ongoing changes (such as in cases involving perishable goods or construction sites), it may be necessary to take multiple photographs at different times to provide a complete picture of its condition. Secondly, it is important to ensure that the photographs and accompanying certificate are properly authenticated and meet the requirements of subsection (3) of the Criminal Code. This may involve ensuring that the photographs are properly labelled and dated, that the camera used to take the photographs is properly calibrated and maintained, and that the certificate contains the required statements about the identity of the person who took the photographs and the circumstances under which they were taken. Failing to follow these requirements may result in the photographs and certificate being excluded as evidence. Thirdly, it is important to consider the potential for the photographs and certificate to be challenged by the opposing party or the court. This may involve anticipating the arguments that may be made against the admissibility or probative value of the photographs and certificate and preparing responses to those arguments. For example, the opposing party may argue that the photographs were tampered with or that the certificate does not provide sufficient detail about the circumstances under which the photographs were taken. In such cases, it may be necessary to provide additional evidence or expert testimony to support the admissibility of the photographs and certificate. Finally, it is important to consider the potential impact of the photographs and certificate on the overall strength of the case. While the use of photographs may provide a convenient way of proving the existence and condition of property, it may also be seen as less persuasive than physical evidence or other forms of testimony. As a result, it may be necessary to balance the convenience of using photographs with the potential risks and benefits of relying on them as evidence. In terms of strategies that could be employed when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code, one approach would be to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to properly authenticate the photographs and certificate and to anticipate and respond to potential challenges to their admissibility. This may involve working closely with an experienced criminal law practitioner or using expert testimony to support the admissibility of the photographs and certificate. Additionally, it may be beneficial to consider whether other forms of evidence (such as physical evidence or testimony from witnesses) may be necessary to strengthen the case and provide a more comprehensive picture of the circumstances surrounding the property in question. By taking a careful and strategic approach to the use of photographs under section 491.2(2) of the Criminal Code, it is possible to effectively prove the existence and condition of property while minimizing the risks associated with their use as evidence.