section 515(4.2)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section requires a justice to consider imposing conditions on an accuseds release to ensure the safety and security of victims, witnesses, or justice system participants.

SECTION WORDING

515(4.2) Before making an order under subsection (2), in the case of an accused who is charged with an offence referred to in subsection (4.3), the justice shall consider whether it is desirable, in the interests of the safety and security of any person, particularly a victim of or witness to the offence or a justice system participant, to include as a condition of the order (a) that the accused abstain from communicating, directly or indirectly, with any victim, witness or other person identified in the order, or refrain from going to any place specified in the order; or (b) that the accused comply with any other condition specified in the order that the justice considers necessary to ensure the safety and security of those persons.

EXPLANATION

Section 515(4.2) of the Criminal Code of Canada requires that before a justice makes an order to release an accused person who's charged with an offence referred to in subsection (4.3), they must take into account the safety and security of any person, particularly a victim, witness, or justice system participant. The justice must consider whether it is desirable to impose conditions that would ensure the safety and security of those individuals. The two common conditions are: first, the accused must abstain from communicating, either directly or indirectly, with the victim, witness, or any other person identified in the order. Second, the accused must refrain from going to any place specified in the order. In addition to these conditions, the justice may impose other conditions that they consider necessary to ensure the safety and security of those identified in the order. The purpose of this section is to protect individuals who could be in danger from an accused person. This could be victims, witnesses, or even members of the justice system, such as judges, lawyers or police officers. If it is deemed necessary, the justice must make an order that takes into account the potential danger to these individuals. This is particularly important in cases where there is a risk of harm or retaliation, or where the accused has a history of violence or intimidation towards the identified people. Overall, Section 515(4.2) of the Criminal Code of Canada represents an important legal safeguard that prioritizes the safety and wellbeing of individuals who may be at risk from an accused person. By imposing conditions that ensure the safety and security of witnesses, victims and justice participants, the justice system is better able to ensure that these people can testify and participate in the legal process without fear of harm or retaliation.

COMMENTARY

Section 515(4.2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a necessary provision that aims to protect victims, witnesses, and justice system participants. As per this section, before making an order under subsection (2), the justice shall consider the necessity of imposing certain conditions on the accused. These conditions may include refraining from communicating directly or indirectly with the victim, witness, or any other person mentioned in the order, or avoiding going to specific places specified in the order. The section further states that the justice may impose any other condition as deemed necessary to ensure the safety and security of those persons. The importance of this provision cannot be understated. Cases involving serious offenses can significantly impact the mental and emotional well-being of victims and witnesses. Additionally, the mere presence of the accused can be intimidating and instill fear in those involved in the case. This section ensures that such individuals are protected and can interact with the justice system without any apprehensions. Moreover, the imposition of conditions under this section serves to prevent further harm to the victim or witness. This is particularly important in cases where the accused has a history of violence or has expressed a desire to retaliate. By abstaining from communicating with the victim or witness, the accused is prevented from further intimidating or harassing them. It is also important to note that the scope of this section is not limited to victims and witnesses alone. Justice system participants, including judges, lawyers, and court staff, are also covered under this provision. The presence of an accused in a courthouse can be intimidating for these individuals as well, and Section 515(4.2) ensures their safety and security. However, it is essential to balance the interests of both the accused and the victims in a case. The imposition of conditions should not be arbitrary or excessive. Justice should be served by ensuring that the imposed conditions do not impede on the accused's constitutional rights, such as the right to a fair trial. It is the duty of the justice to ensure that any conditions imposed are reasonable and necessary for the protection of the victim, witness, or justice system participant. In conclusion, Section 515(4.2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an essential provision that ensures the safety and security of victims, witnesses, and justice system participants. This section recognizes the sensitivities involved in cases involving serious offenses and ensures that necessary steps are taken to prevent further harm. It is crucial that the imposition of any conditions under this section is reasonable and considers the interests of both the accused and the victims.

STRATEGY

Section 515(4.2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a crucial provision that must be considered when making an order for release of an accused. This provision requires that the justice considers the safety and security of any individuals who may be at risk of harm, including victims of or witnesses to the offence, as well as justice system participants. Failure to adequately consider the interests of these individuals could result in harm, which would undermine the integrity of the justice system. One strategic consideration when dealing with this provision is ensuring that the accused understands the conditions attached to their release order. For example, if an accused is required to abstain from communicating with a victim or witness, they must understand the consequences of failing to abide by that condition. Failure to understand these conditions could result in the accused violating the order, which would place individuals at risk. Another strategic consideration is ensuring that the conditions attached to the release order are tailored to the specific circumstances of the case. This requires the justice to carefully assess the risk factors and the needs of each individual involved in the case. For example, if a victim or witness is particularly vulnerable, additional conditions may need to be imposed to ensure their safety and security. One strategy that could be utilized when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code is developing a safety plan for victims and witnesses. This could include providing them with a safe place to live, arranging for transportation to and from court, and providing them with support services that meet their needs. By providing victims and witnesses with these resources, their safety and security can be ensured, reducing the likelihood of harm. Another strategy that could be employed is utilizing technology to monitor the accused and ensure that they are complying with their release order. For example, if an accused is prohibited from communicating with a victim or witness, they could be required to wear an electronic monitoring device that would alert authorities if they violate that condition. By utilizing technology to monitor the accused, their level of risk can be reduced, ensuring the safety and security of others involved in the case. In conclusion, Section 515(4.2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an essential provision that must be considered when making an order for release of an accused. By carefully assessing the risk factors and needs of all individuals involved in the case, developing safety plans, and utilizing technology to monitor the accused, strategies can be employed to ensure the safety and security of victims, witnesses, and justice system participants. This will ultimately contribute to the effectiveness and credibility of the justice system, as well as the safety and well-being of those involved in criminal cases.