section 515(4)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section outlines the conditions that a justice may impose on an accused person who has been granted bail.

SECTION WORDING

515(4) The justice may direct as conditions under subsection (2) that the accused shall do any one or more of the following things as specified in the order: (a) report at times to be stated in the order to a peace officer or other person designated in the order; (b) remain within a territorial jurisdiction specified in the order; (c) notify the peace officer or other person designated under paragraph (a) of any change in his address or his employment or occupation; (d) 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, except in accordance with the conditions specified in the order that the justice considers necessary; (e) where the accused is the holder of a passport, deposit his passport as specified in the order; (e.1) comply with any other condition specified in the order that the justice considers necessary to ensure the safety and security of any victim of or witness to the offence; and (f) comply with such other reasonable conditions specified in the order as the justice considers desirable.

EXPLANATION

Section 515(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the conditions that a justice may impose on an accused person who has been released on bail. These conditions are aimed at ensuring the safety of the public, preventing the accused person from committing further offences, and ensuring that they appear in court when required. The conditions that a justice may impose include reporting to a designated person at specified times, remaining within a certain geographical area, informing the designated person of any changes to their address or employment, refraining from communicating with victims or witnesses, surrendering their passport, and complying with any other conditions deemed necessary by the justice. These conditions are not arbitrary; rather, they are intended to address specific risks associated with the accused person. For example, if the accused person has a history of violence and is accused of a violent offence, the justice may impose conditions prohibiting them from contacting the victim or going to certain locations. Alternatively, if the accused person has a history of failing to appear in court, the justice may require them to surrender their passport or report regularly to a designated person. The purpose of these conditions is to strike a balance between the rights of the accused person and the safety and security of the public. While an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, it is also important to ensure that they do not pose a risk to society while awaiting trial. Section 515(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves as a tool to help achieve this balance.

COMMENTARY

Section 515(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision in the Canadian legal system that grants power to the judiciary to impose specific conditions on an accused while they are on bail. It empowers the justice to require that an accused report regularly to a peace officer or other designated person, remain within a particular territorial jurisdiction, notify the peace officer or designated person of any change in address or employment or occupation, abstain from communicating with victims or witnesses, go to specific places only in accordance with the order, deposit the passport, or comply with any other reasonable condition specified by the justice. The chief objective of section 515(4) is to protect the public, victims, witnesses, and the administration of justice by providing the courts with tools to prevent an accused on bail from committing further crimes, attempting to interfere with the witnesses or evidence, or breaching the terms of their release. This provision is, therefore, essential in ensuring a fair, reasonable, and just bail system that balances the rights of the accused against the need to maintain public safety and confidence in the justice system. One of the critical conditions that a justice may impose under section 515(4) is the requirement that an accused report on a regular basis to the police or another designated person. Reporting conditions serve several purposes, including monitoring the accused's behavior, ensuring compliance with bail conditions, verifying their whereabouts, and providing an opportunity for intervention should concerns arise. By requiring regular check-ins, the justice can effectively supervise an accused, identify potential risks, and mitigate them before they escalate. Another vital condition that a judge may impose is the requirement that an accused remain within a particular territorial jurisdiction. This provision aims to prevent an accused from fleeing the jurisdiction or interfering with witnesses or evidence that may be located outside of the region. It is also pertinent in the case of inter-provincial or international offenses or where an accused has connections or assets in other jurisdictions that may pose potential risks. Section 515(4) also empowers the justice to impose specific communication restrictions on an accused. These restrictions are essential in ensuring the integrity of the trial process and protecting victims and witnesses from intimidation or harassment. An accused may be prohibited from contacting a particular victim or witness, going to specific places, or communicating with any person in a particular way, including electronically. The court may also specify conditions related to the use of social media or the internet to prevent an accused from using these platforms to interfere with the justice process. The deposit of a passport is another critical condition that a justice may impose under section 515(4). This provision is essential in preventing an accused from leaving the country and becoming a flight risk. An accused may be required to surrender their passport or travel documents and obtain permission from the court before they can leave the jurisdiction. In conclusion, section 515(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important tool that empowers the justice to impose specific conditions on an accused while on bail. The conditions imposed under this provision are meant to promote public safety, protect the integrity of the justice system, and ensure the accused's compliance with the terms of their release. It is therefore essential that the courts exercise this power judiciously and balance the rights of the accused against the interests of justice, fairness, and security.

STRATEGY

Section 515(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides justices with a range of options to impose conditions on an accused person's release on bail. Judicial officers use these conditions to ensure that the accused will attend court appearances and, if released, will not pose a risk to the public or interfere with the administration of justice. The strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada include the likelihood of the accused attending court, the seriousness of the offense, the safety and security of witnesses or victims, and the accused's potential flight risk. One strategy that may be employed is to require the accused to provide a surety. A surety is a third party who is present in court and is willing to take responsibility for ensuring that the accused will follow the conditions of their release. A surety is required to sign a document where they agree to pay a sum of money if the accused fails to comply with the conditions of their release. If the accused fails to show up in court or violates his or her bail conditions, the surety may have to pay the sum. Another strategy is to impose a curfew on the accused. If the court determines that the accused does not pose a risk to the public but is at high risk of reoffending, the court may impose a curfew. The curfew may limit the accused's freedom by requiring them to stay at home during certain hours. The curfew may also help the accused stay out of situations that could lead to further criminal activity. A third strategy is to order the accused to attend counseling or treatment programs. The court may require an accused person to attend treatment programs to address specific issues, such as drug or alcohol addiction. This strategy may be necessary to ensure the safety of the accused and the community. In conclusion, the strategic considerations when dealing with section 515(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada depend on the individual circumstances of the case. The court must balance the accused's right to liberty with the public's interest in ensuring that the accused attends court and does not pose a risk to the community. Several strategies are available to judges, prosecutors, and defense counsel to ensure that the conditions of the accused's release are appropriate, lawful, and effective.