section 6(2)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

No person shall be convicted or discharged under section 730 of an offence committed outside Canada, unless otherwise stated in this Act or any other Act of Parliament.

SECTION WORDING

6.(2) Subject to this Act or any other Act of Parliament, no person shall be convicted or discharged under section 730 of an offence committed outside Canada.

EXPLANATION

Section 6(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada sets out a general rule that no person can be convicted or discharged for an offence that was committed outside the territorial boundaries of Canada, unless provided otherwise by any other Act of Parliament or the Criminal Code itself. This means that Canadian courts lack jurisdiction to prosecute offences committed outside its territorial boundaries unless there is a specific statutory provision that enables the prosecution of such offences. The provision is meant to limit the extent of Canada's criminal jurisdiction, and ensures that Canadian criminal law only applies to offences that take place within the country, or that embody a significant enough connection to Canada. However, section 6(2) also contains some limitations, as the Act or any other Act of Parliament may provide an exemption to this rule, enabling Canadian courts or relevant authorities to pursue prosecution of offences committed outside Canada's boundaries where a connection to Canada can be established. In summary, section 6(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada serves to establish the general rule that Canadian criminal law only has jurisdiction to prosecute offences committed within its territorial boundaries. This provides a clear framework for the application of Canadian criminal law, while also protecting individuals against prosecutions in foreign jurisdictions for alleged offences that may be legal in Canada.

COMMENTARY

Section 6(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines a key limitation on the jurisdiction of Canadian criminal courts when it comes to offences committed outside of Canada. In essence, this provision prevents the courts from convicting or discharging an individual with respect to an offence committed outside of Canada, unless the crime is explicitly listed as being within the scope of Canadian law. This provision is important for several reasons. Firstly, it recognizes the principle of territoriality - the idea that each country has the right to apply its own laws within its own borders, but not outside of them. This principle ensures that each country is able to maintain its own legal system and autonomy, even as people and goods cross borders. Secondly, Section 6(2) is significant because it reflects the limits of Canadian jurisdiction over criminal activity occurring outside of its borders. As a sovereign state, Canada can only regulate conduct that takes place within its own territory. While there are situations where Canada can assert jurisdiction over offences that occur outside of the country (such as crimes against Canadian citizens or national security interests), these are generally limited, and must be specifically authorized by law. One important consequence of Section 6(2) is that it can sometimes make it difficult to prosecute individuals who have committed offences overseas. For example, if a Canadian citizen commits a crime in another country, it can be difficult for Canadian authorities to obtain evidence and jurisdiction over the individual, especially if the country in question has different legal standards or is unwilling to cooperate with Canada. Despite this limitation, Section 6(2) also recognizes that there are situations where Canadian authorities may have a legitimate interest in prosecuting offences committed outside of the country. For this reason, the provision contains an exception - offences committed outside of Canada can still be subject to Canadian law if the crime is listed in the Criminal Code or another federal statute. Ultimately, Section 6(2) reflects an important balance between the principles of territoriality, national sovereignty, and international cooperation. While it recognizes the limits of Canadian jurisdiction over criminal activity that takes place outside of its borders, it also allows for certain offenses to be pursued in Canadian courts if they meet specific criteria. As such, it serves as a key legal provision guiding the extent of Canadian criminal law jurisdiction.

STRATEGY

Section 6(2) of the Canadian Criminal Code is a significant provision when it comes to dealing with offences committed outside Canadian borders. This provision bars the conviction of any person under section 730 for offences committed outside Canada, except for specific situations when authorized by Parliament or other Acts. In this context, strategic considerations are essential when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. One strategic consideration is the application of the jurisdiction principle in international law, which determines when Canadian courts can rule over crimes committed outside Canada. This principle limits the ability of Canadian courts to exercise jurisdiction beyond its territories' limits. Therefore, if the offence lacked a sufficient connection to Canada, in terms of the offender's nationality or the offence's effects on Canadian interests, prosecution may not succeed. Hence, the court's lack of jurisdiction in this case offers a strategic advantage to defendants that may be invoked in their defence to avoid conviction. Another strategic consideration is the effectiveness of extradition treaties between Canada and foreign nations. If a person is charged with an offence committed in a foreign country, the treaty may provide the legal framework for the extradition of the offender to face trial in Canada. However, some countries may have strict human rights laws that prohibit the deportation of the offender if they would face torture, persecution, or inhumane treatment at home. In such a case, a request for extradition may be declined or subjected to a diplomatic process, which may last for years, leaving the offender free from prosecution in Canada. Prosecutors may also implement a strategy known as forum shopping, which involves selecting the best jurisdiction for prosecuting an offence out of different jurisdictions the alleged offender has connections with, some of which may provide favourable grounds for a conviction. For instance, a Canadian citizen who committed an offence in the US, and will most likely face a severe sentence in the US, may prefer being held accountable in Canada instead. In conclusion, section 6(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a crucial provision when dealing with offences committed outside Canada, and various strategic considerations may impact the outcome of such cases. These may include the application of the jurisdiction principle, the effectiveness of extradition treaties, and forum shopping. Therefore, it is vital to engage legal experts with extensive experience in criminal cases beyond Canadian borders to advise on the best course of action.

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