INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
7(10) In any proceedings under this Act, a certificate purporting to have been issued by or under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs is admissible in evidence without proof of the signature or authority of the person appearing to have signed it and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, is proof of the facts it states that are relevant to the question of whether any person is a member of United Nations personnel, a member of associated personnel or a person who is entitled under international law to protection from attack or threat of attack against his or her person, freedom or dignity. (11) A certificate purporting to have been issued by or under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs stating (a) that at a certain time any state was engaged in an armed conflict against Canada or was allied with Canada in an armed conflict, (b) that at a certain time any convention, treaty or other international agreement was or was not in force and that Canada was or was not a party thereto, or (c) that Canada agreed or did not agree to accept and apply the provisions of any convention, treaty or other international agreement in an armed conflict in which Canada was involved, is admissible in evidence in any proceedings without proof of the signature or authority of the person appearing to have issued it, and is proof of the facts so stated.
Section 7(10) of the Criminal Code of Canada is critical in any legal proceedings relating to crimes committed against United Nations personnel and associated personnel. This section allows for a certificate issued by or under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs to be admissible without any proof of the signature or authority of the person appearing to have signed it. It also serves as proof of relevant facts regarding the victim's status under international law. This section aims to protect the rights of individuals who are entitled to international protection by ensuring that their status is recognized in the Canadian court system. This provision recognizes the important role that United Nations personnel and associated personnel play in maintaining global peace and security. Additionally, section 7(11) provides for the use of a certificate issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs related to the status of an armed conflict between Canada and other states or whether Canada has agreed to or is a party to an international agreement. Its admissibility serves as proof of relevant facts without the need to provide proof of signature or authority. Overall, Section 7(10) of the Criminal Code of Canada helps to ensure that justice is served for victims who may have suffered harm while serving the greater good of international peace and security.
The aforementioned Section 7(10) and (11) of the Criminal Code of Canada provide for the admissibility of certificates purportedly issued by or under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. These certificates are admissible in evidence without requiring proof of the signature or authority of the person who appears to have issued them. Moreover, in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, such certificates serve as proof of the facts that they state. These provisions are related to the obligations of Canada under international law and identify the circumstances in which certain persons are entitled to protection from attack or threat of attack against their person, freedom, or dignity. The section is primarily aimed at uniformed military peacekeepers, experts on mission, police personnel, and other associated personnel working for the United Nations. The certificate issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs serves as evidence of their status and in certain cases, the protection they possess under international law. A certificate issued under Section 7(10) can be used to prove an individual's status as a member of the UN personnel who are entitled to protection under international law. This protection includes ensuring that they are not arrested, detained, or held hostage, and may not be prosecuted by the host country. The law provides that the certificate is sufficient proof of the relevant facts in the absence of contradictory evidence. This provision is of great importance in criminal proceedings involving alleged offences against UN personnel. Section 7(11) expands the ambit of certificates by stating that such certificates issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, which contain a statement on Canada's involvement in an armed conflict, alliance or membership in international agreements, can also be admitted in court without proof of signature or authority of the issuing officer. These statements can be used in evidence in criminal cases to provide background and context to the matters before the courts. The ability to rely on such certificates without the need for separate legal proceedings to establish their validity and authenticity is an essential feature of Canadian law's effectiveness. This is because, in many instances where such certificates are required, the persons who have the knowledge or information to attest to or verify the accuracy of such statements may no longer be conveniently available or may be difficult to locate within Canada or in foreign jurisdictions. The provision on certificates issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs plays an essential role in facilitating the administration of justice in Canada involving issues touching on international law elements. It enhances the legal certainty and predictability of Canadian law, providing a secondary evidence source that can be relied upon in the absence of first-hand testimony. Therefore, it serves as an essential tool for lawyers and courts alike in understanding the international law implications of a criminal case, and allowing the accused and the court to make informed decisions in such cases.
Section 7(10) of the Criminal Code of Canada allows for the admissibility of a certificate issued by or under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs in any proceedings under the Act. The certificate must state relevant and factual information pertaining to the status of an individual as a member of United Nations personnel, associated personnel, or a person entitled to protection under international law. This provision is an important tool in the prosecution of crimes against these protected individuals, as it eliminates the need for additional evidence to establish their status and affords them the necessary protection. However, there are several strategic considerations to keep in mind when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code. First and foremost, it is important to ensure that the certificate is issued by or under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and that it accurately states the relevant facts. Any errors or inaccuracies in the certificate could lead to the exclusion of the evidence and the dismissal of the case. Another important consideration is the potential for challenges to the admissibility of the certificate. Defense counsel may argue that the certificate is hearsay and that the person who signed it is not available for cross-examination. To counter this challenge, the prosecution may need to introduce additional evidence to support the certificate and establish its trustworthiness. In light of these considerations, several strategies could be employed to effectively use section 7(10) of the Criminal Code. One strategy is to ensure that the certificate is issued well in advance of the trial and that it is properly authenticated. This will help to avoid any challenges to the admissibility of the certificate and ensure that it is available for use at trial. Another strategy is to prepare additional evidence to support the certificate and establish its trustworthiness. This could include testimony from expert witnesses or other individuals with knowledge of the relevant facts. By introducing this additional evidence, the prosecution can strengthen its case and reduce the likelihood of challenges to the admissibility of the certificate. Overall, section 7(10) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that allows for the admissibility of certificates issued by or under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. By carefully considering the strategic implications of this provision and employing effective strategies, prosecutors can effectively use this tool to protect United Nations personnel, associated personnel, and other individuals entitled to protection under international law.