section 672.91

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section allows a peace officer to arrest an accused without a warrant if they reasonably believe the accused has contravened or failed to comply with an assessment order or disposition.

SECTION WORDING

672.91 A peace officer may arrest an accused without a warrant at any place in Canada if the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the accused has contravened or wilfully failed to comply with the assessment order or disposition or any condition of it, or is about to do so.

EXPLANATION

Section 672.91 of the Criminal Code of Canada empowers a peace officer to arrest an accused without a warrant if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the accused has breached an assessment order or disposition or any condition thereof, or is about to do so. The section is a part of the broader set of provisions under Part XX.1 of the Code, which governs the mental disorder provisions of criminal law. Mental disorder provisions aim to balance the objectives of protecting society and treating mentally disordered offenders. Assessment orders allow for the examination of individuals suspected of having a mental disorder in relation to their criminal activity, while dispositions prescribe appropriate conditions (including psychiatric treatment) for their rehabilitation and community safety. In this context, section 672.91 is a critical tool for enforcing compliance with these orders and conditions. The provision is premised on the principle that breaches of assessment orders and dispositions may threaten public safety, as untreated mental disorders may increase the risk of reoffending. The provision aims to strike a balance between the liberty interests of an individual and the protection of public safety by allowing a peace officer to arrest an individual who has breached court-ordered conditions or is about to do so. Under section 672.91, the arrest is justified by the presence of reasonable grounds, a threshold that requires a higher level of certainty than mere suspicion. The provision applies anywhere in Canada, giving peace officers the discretion to respond promptly to breaches of conditions. The provision also implies that an accused breaching a condition may be committing a new offence, which could trigger separate charges. Overall, section 672.91 is a pivotal tool in ensuring compliance with assessment orders and dispositions in the context of mental disorder provisions of criminal law. It empowers peace officers to act swiftly, while balancing the rights of individuals and the safety of the public.

COMMENTARY

Section 672.91 of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that authorizes peace officers to arrest an accused without a warrant, if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accused has contravened or wilfully failed to comply with an assessment order or disposition or any condition of it, or is about to do so. The provision is designed to ensure that individuals who are subject to assessment orders or dispositions comply with the conditions of these orders, and that the public is protected from any potential harm that may result from non-compliance. Assessment orders and dispositions are often used in cases where an individual is deemed to be a risk to themselves or others, and as such, it is critical that these individuals comply with their orders or dispositions to prevent any potential harm. The provision gives peace officers the authority to act quickly to prevent non-compliance with assessment orders and dispositions by providing them with the power to arrest an accused without a warrant. This power allows peace officers to take proactive measures to prevent individuals from committing further harm, and ensures that the public is protected from any potential threats. Furthermore, the provision serves to promote the integrity of the justice system by holding individuals accountable for their actions and ensuring that they are held responsible for complying with assessment orders and dispositions. Compliance with assessment orders and dispositions is critical to the success of the rehabilitation process and is essential in promoting public safety. However, as with all provisions of the Criminal Code, there are potential concerns with section 672.91. One potential concern is the possibility of abuse of power by peace officers utilizing this provision. The provision gives peace officers significant power and autonomy in determining whether an individual has contravened or wilfully failed to comply with an assessment order or disposition. This power could potentially be abused if a peace officer were to act based on personal bias, rather than objective and reasonable grounds. Another concern is the potential for misinterpretation of the provision by peace officers. The provision requires peace officers to have reasonable grounds to believe that an individual has contravened or wilfully failed to comply with an assessment order or disposition. However, what constitutes reasonable grounds can be subjective and may vary depending on the situation. This may lead to misunderstandings or errors in judgment on the part of the peace officer, which could result in innocent individuals being arrested without cause. In conclusion, section 672.91 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides necessary authority to peace officers to enforce compliance with assessment orders and dispositions. However, it is important to ensure that this power is not abused and that it is used only when there are objective and reasonable grounds to believe that an individual has contravened or wilfully failed to comply with an assessment order or disposition. By doing so, the provision can serve its intended purpose of promoting public safety and rehabilitation while upholding the integrity of the justice system.

STRATEGY

Section 672.91 of the Criminal Code of Canada empowers peace officers to make an arrest without a warrant if they have reasonable grounds to believe that an accused person has contravened or wilfully failed to comply with an assessment order or disposition, or any condition of it, or is about to do so. This section provides an important tool for ensuring compliance with court orders and protecting the public from potential harm. When dealing with this section of the Criminal Code, there are several strategic considerations that law enforcement officials should keep in mind. These include: 1. Gathering sufficient evidence: In order to make an arrest without a warrant, the peace officer must have reasonable grounds to believe that the accused person has contravened a court order or is about to do so. This requires the officer to gather sufficient evidence to support their belief, which could include witness statements, surveillance footage, or physical evidence. It is important for officers to document their findings carefully, as this evidence will be crucial in justifying the arrest if the accused person challenges it in court. 2. Assessing the risk to public safety: Another key consideration when deciding whether to make an arrest without a warrant is the risk posed by the accused person to public safety. If the officer believes that the accused person is likely to cause harm to themselves or others, they may need to take immediate action to protect the public. However, if the risk is lower, officers may have more time to gather evidence and develop a plan for making the arrest. 3. Coordinating with other agencies: Often, compliance with court orders involves multiple agencies, including probation officers, social workers, and mental health professionals. When making an arrest under Section 672.91, it may be necessary for the peace officer to coordinate with these other agencies to ensure that the accused person's needs are being addressed and that any underlying issues that contributed to non-compliance are being addressed. 4. Ensuring the accused person's rights are respected: Finally, when making an arrest under Section 672.91, it is crucial for the peace officer to ensure that the accused person's rights are being respected. This includes providing them with information about their rights, such as the right to remain silent and the right to speak with a lawyer, and ensuring that they are handled in a manner that is consistent with the law and with best practices for law enforcement. In terms of strategies that could be employed when making an arrest under Section 672.91, there are a few key approaches that law enforcement officials could consider. These include: 1. Engaging in proactive monitoring: Rather than waiting for non-compliance to occur, officers could engage in active monitoring of individuals who are subject to court orders, such as regular check-ins or surveillance. This could help officers to detect non-compliance early, before it escalates into a more serious issue that requires an arrest. 2. Developing a plan for compliance: In some cases, a lack of compliance with a court order may be due to a lack of understanding or resources on the part of the accused person. Officers could work with probation officers, social workers, and other professionals to create a plan for compliance that addresses any underlying issues, such as mental health or addiction issues, that may be contributing to non-compliance. 3. Using restorative justice practices: When appropriate, officers could consider using restorative justice practices to address non-compliance. This could involve bringing together the accused person, the victim (if there is one), and other relevant parties to discuss the impact of non-compliance and work towards a resolution that addresses the harms caused. Overall, Section 672.91 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an important tool for ensuring compliance with court orders and protecting public safety. However, it is important for law enforcement officials to approach arrests under this section with care, ensuring that they are based on sufficient evidence, co-ordinated with other agencies, and respectful of the accused person's rights. By employing thoughtful and strategic approaches, officers can help to promote compliance with court orders and reduce the risk of harm to the public.