section 63(2)


Lawful assembly can become unlawful if participants engage in behavior that would have made the assembly unlawful if they had originally assembled for that purpose.


63(2) Persons who are lawfully assembled may become an unlawful assembly if they conduct themselves with a common purpose in a manner that would have made the assembly unlawful if they had assembled in that manner for that purpose.


Section 63(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the legal concept of "unlawful assembly". An assembly can be considered lawful if it is formed for a lawful purpose and is conducted in a manner that is peaceful and does not result in any breach of peace or public disorder. However, if any person of the assembly or the assembly as a whole starts behaving in a way that disturbs public peace, then the assembly can be labelled as an "unlawful assembly." In the context of section 63(2), an assembly that is initially lawful can turn into an unlawful assembly if the participants start behaving aggressively or start engaging in activities that are illegal or against public order. For instance, if a group of people comes together to protest peacefully but turn violent and start destroying property or attacking other people, their assembly will become unlawful. Similarly, if people gather for a concert or a public event and start behaving in a way that disrupts public peace, their assembly can become unlawful. It is important to note that even if a small group of people within a larger lawful assembly start engaging in unlawful activities, the entire assembly could be deemed as unlawful. The participants have to be mindful of not only their conduct but the conduct of others as well. Therefore, Section 63(2) is a vital provision of the Criminal Code of Canada that draws the line between lawful and unlawful assemblies and ensures that people can express their views peacefully without disturbing public peace.


Section 63(2) of The Criminal Code of Canada is an essential provision that outlines the criteria for determining whether a lawful gathering can convert into an illegal assembly. In essence, the provision states that people who are legally gathered can become an unlawful assembly if they engage in conduct that would have been considered illegal had they assembled for that particular purpose. The section applies to gatherings, processions, and meetings held in public spaces, both indoors and outdoors. The provision is meant to maintain order and prevent chaos in public spaces by prohibiting individuals from carrying out dangerous or criminal activities in the course of a lawful assembly. The purpose of Section 63(2) is to protect people's lives and property, prevent injury, and maintain public safety. It is essential to prevent the escalation of peaceful gatherings into violent and disruptive events that can cause serious physical harm to people and property. For instance, peaceful demonstrations or public gatherings convened to raise awareness for a particular cause may be considered lawful assemblies. However, if the demonstrators engage in violent activities such as burning, looting, or assaulting people, the assembly can be declared an unlawful assembly. The provision allows law enforcement officials to intervene quickly and disperse an assembly before it spirals out of control and becomes a danger to public safety. The police are responsible for determining whether or not an assembly has become unlawful. They may order a group to disperse or provide a reasonable opportunity to those involved to cease their disruptive activities and comply with the law. Section 63(2) has come under criticism for its vagueness and broad nature. Critics argue that it gives law enforcement officials arbitrary powers to declare assemblies unlawful, even when there is no clear indication that the assembly has become a danger to the public. Another criticism of Section 63(2) is that it tends to infringe on the right to assemble and the freedom of expression guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Some argue that the provision stifles peaceful protests and demonstrations by using the fear of arrest and prosecution as a tool to discourage people from engaging in lawful protests. However, the provision remains a vital instrument for maintaining order in public spaces and preventing the escalation of peaceful demonstrations into violent and dangerous events. The provision strikes a balance between protecting people's right to assemble and maintaining public safety, and law enforcement officials must exercise discretion when enforcing it. In conclusion, Section 63(2) of The Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that establishes the criteria for determining when a lawful assembly can become an unlawful assembly. While it is an essential tool for maintaining public safety, it must be enforced cautiously to avoid infringing on the rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Overall, it is critical to maintain a balance between preserving people's rights and creating a peaceful environment in public spaces.


Section 63(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the concept of an unlawful assembly. This section may seem straightforward, but it has significant implications for law enforcement authorities dealing with large groups of people assembled for various purposes. Therefore, understanding the strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the criminal code is crucial. One of the most critical strategic considerations is the importance of maintaining public order and safety. When a lawful assembly turns into an unlawful one, it often results in chaos, violence, and destruction of property. Therefore, law enforcement authorities must act swiftly and decisively to stop the situation from escalating. This could mean using crowd control techniques or deploying additional police officers to disperse the crowd. Another strategic consideration is the need to balance individual rights and freedoms versus the constitutional responsibility to maintain public safety. While every individual in Canada has the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, the state also has a responsibility to ensure that these freedoms are not abused. Therefore, police officers need to carefully balance the need to protect individual rights with their duty to maintain public order. Furthermore, it is essential to differentiate between peaceful and violent protestors. While peaceful protestors have the legal right to assemble, violent protestors may be breaking the law and committing criminal offenses. Therefore, law enforcement authorities must use their discretion to determine the nature of the assembly and take appropriate action. In terms of strategies that could be employed to deal with section 63(2), police officers can use a range of tactics to disperse a crowd. This could involve deploying additional officers to create a strong visible presence, using communication techniques to engage with the crowd, or using non-violent crowd control methods such as water cannons, tear gas, or rubber bullets. Another strategy is to use negotiation and mediation to defuse the situation. This involves engaging with protest leaders and other influential individuals to find a peaceful solution. This could include discussing alternatives to the protest or agreeing on a compromise that satisfies both the protesters and state authorities. Finally, developing a comprehensive plan or strategy for dealing with unlawful assemblies can help mitigate the risk of violence and damage to property. This could involve pre-planning and coordination with other law enforcement agencies, implementing clear guidelines and rules of engagement, and ensuring that officers are adequately trained and equipped with the tools they need to disperse a crowd safely and effectively. In conclusion, police officers dealing with section 63(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada must carefully balance individual rights and freedoms with their responsibility to maintain public order and safety. By employing a range of strategies such as non-violent crowd control methods, negotiation and mediation, and comprehensive planning, officers can effectively and safely manage unlawful assemblies, reducing the risk of harm to protestors, officers, and bystanders alike.