section 7(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section addresses crimes committed on or in relation to aircraft or outside Canada but affecting Canadian aviation, and deems them to have been committed in Canada.

SECTION WORDING

7. (1) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or any other Act, every one who (a) on or in respect of an aircraft (i) registered in Canada under regulations made under the Aeronautics Act, or (ii) leased without crew and operated by a person who is qualified under regulations made under the Aeronautics Act to be registered as owner of an aircraft registered in Canada under those regulations, while the aircraft is in flight, or (b) on any aircraft, while the aircraft is in flight if the flight terminated in Canada, commits an act or omission in or outside Canada that if committed in Canada would be an offence punishable by indictment shall be deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada. (2) Notwithstanding this Act or any other Act, every one who (a) on an aircraft, while the aircraft is in flight, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada or on an aircraft registered in Canada under regulations made under the Aeronautics Act would be an offence against section 76 or paragraph 77(a),(b) in relation to an aircraft in service, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would be an offence against any of paragraphs 77(b), (c) or (e),(c) in relation to an air navigation facility used in international air navigation, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would be an offence against paragraph 77(d),(d) at or in relation to an airport serving international civil aviation, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would be an offence against paragraph 77(b) or (f), or (e) commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would constitute a conspiracy or an attempt to commit an offence referred to in this subsection, or being an accessory after the fact or counselling in relation to such an offence, shall be deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada if the person is, after the commission thereof, present in Canada.

EXPLANATION

Section 7(1) and (2) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the jurisdiction of Canadian courts in relation to offences committed on or in relation to aircraft both within and outside Canada. Under this section, any person who commits an offence on an aircraft registered in Canada or leased without crew and operated by a qualified person, while the aircraft is in flight, is deemed to have committed that offence in Canada, irrespective of where the offence took place. Similarly, anyone who commits an offence outside Canada, but on an aircraft that terminated its flight in Canada, can be accused of committing the offence in Canada. Moreover, under 7(2), if a person commits an offence on an aircraft outside Canada or against a Canadian-registered aircraft, which would be punishable by indictment in Canada, that person is deemed to have committed it in Canada. Additionally, if someone acts as an accessory after the fact or counsels the commission of such offences, they also fall under this jurisdiction. Thus, this section extends Canada's legal power to prosecute and punish individuals who commit aviation-related offences both domestically and internationally, thereby ensuring the safety and security of aviation as a global means of transportation.

COMMENTARY

Section 7(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with offences committed on or in respect of an aircraft, while it is in flight, or on any aircraft where the flight terminates in Canada. This section is important as it allows for the prosecution of offences committed on or in relation to aircraft, irrespective of where they occur geographically or the nationality of the offender. The section is flexible as it applies to all aircraft, regardless of their registration or ownership, provided they are capable of being registered in Canada. It also applies to offences that, if committed in Canada, would be punishable by indictment, which are the most serious types of offences in Canadian criminal law. The purpose of this section is to prevent individuals from escaping prosecution by committing offences in international airspace where they may be beyond the jurisdiction of Canadian law enforcement. This is important as the aviation industry is vital for international commerce and national security, and any criminal activity in relation to it can have serious consequences. This section also ensures that Canada complies with international laws such as the Rome Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Civil Aviation, which requires states to have extra-territorial jurisdiction over offences committed on aircraft registered in their territory. Section 7(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada extends the application of this section to include offences committed outside Canada, provided they would be an offence if committed in Canada or on an aircraft registered in Canada. This section ensures that individuals cannot escape prosecution by committing an offence on an aircraft registered outside Canada and then landing on Canadian soil. Overall, Section 7 of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that ensures that individuals who commit offences on or in relation to aircraft are held accountable, regardless of where the offence occurs or the nationality of the offender. It demonstrates the commitment of the Canadian government to ensure the safety of the aviation industry and protect its citizens from harm.

STRATEGY

One of the key strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada is the fact that it has extraterritorial reach. This means that individuals who commit certain offenses on or in relation to an aircraft, even if the offense is committed outside of Canada, can be deemed to have committed the offense in Canada. This can make it easier for Canadian law enforcement officials to pursue and prosecute such individuals, even if they are located in a different country. One potential strategy that could be employed when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code of Canada is to ensure that all individuals involved in the aviation industry are aware of its provisions. This can help to deter individuals from committing offenses in the first place, as well as help law enforcement officials to more easily track down those who do commit offenses. Organizations like the Canadian Aviation Regulations and Transportation Safety Board Canada can play a key role in disseminating information about this section of the Criminal Code of Canada to industry professionals. Another strategy that could be employed is to work closely with foreign law enforcement officials to share information and coordinate efforts to investigate and prosecute offenses committed on aircraft. This may involve implementing extradition agreements or other mechanisms for cooperating with foreign authorities. By working together, law enforcement officials from multiple countries can present a united front against individuals who commit offenses on or in relation to aircraft. Additionally, it may be useful to allocate additional resources towards investigating and prosecuting offenses under this section of the Criminal Code of Canada. This could involve increasing funding for law enforcement agencies that are responsible for investigating such offenses, or hiring additional prosecutors to focus specifically on aviation-related crimes. Overall, there are a number of strategic considerations that come into play when dealing with Section 7(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada. By taking a proactive approach and implementing strategies aimed at deterring offenses, sharing information and coordinating efforts with foreign law enforcement officials, and allocating appropriate resources towards investigation and prosecution, Canadian authorities can help to ensure that offenses committed on or in relation to aircraft are effectively addressed.

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