section 7(3)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section states that acts or omissions committed against an internationally protected person or their property outside of Canada will be deemed as committed in Canada under certain circumstances, such as if the person is a Canadian citizen or after the act or omission the person is present in Canada.

SECTION WORDING

7(3) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or any other Act, every one who, outside Canada, commits an act or omission against the person of an internationally protected person or against any property referred to in section 431 used by that person that, if committed in Canada, would be an offence against any of sections 235, 236, 266, 267, 268, 269, 269.1, 271, 272, 273, 279, 279.1, 280 to 283, 424 and 431 is deemed to commit that act or omission in Canada if (a) the act or omission is committed on a ship that is registered or licensed, or for which an identification number has been issued, pursuant to any Act of Parliament; (b) the act or omission is committed on 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 in Canada under those regulations; (c) the person who commits the act or omission is a Canadian citizen or is, after the act or omission has been committed, present in Canada; or (d) the act or omission is against (i) a person who enjoys the status of an internationally protected person by virtue of the functions that person performs on behalf of Canada, or (ii) a member of the family of a person described in subparagraph (i) who qualifies under paragraph (b) or (d) of the definition "internationally protected person" in section 2.

EXPLANATION

Section 7(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada deals with the extraterritorial application of Canadian criminal law. It states that any individual who commits an act or omission against an internationally protected person or property that would constitute an offence in Canada will be deemed to have committed the offence in Canada, even if the act or omission occurred outside of Canadian territory. The section provides four criteria that must be met to trigger its application. Firstly, the act or omission must have occurred on a ship or aircraft registered in Canada. Secondly, the perpetrator must be a Canadian citizen or present in Canada after the commission of the offence. Third, the victim must be an internationally protected person performing functions on behalf of Canada or a family member of such a person. Finally, the act or omission must fall under one of the specified offences listed in the section. This provision is aimed at protecting internationally protected people and their property, who may be vulnerable to attacks in foreign countries. It allows Canada to assert jurisdiction over crimes committed against these individuals, regardless of where the offence took place. This provision is also important in facilitating cooperation between Canada and other states in investigating and prosecuting crimes committed against internationally protected people.

COMMENTARY

Section 7(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that creates extra-territorial jurisdiction in cases where individuals outside Canada commit certain offences against internationally protected persons or their property. This provision is designed to enhance the protection of individuals who are deemed to enjoy a special status under international law, such as diplomats, heads of state, and other officials who are engaged in important functions on behalf of their respective countries. The provision outlines four circumstances under which individuals outside Canada can be deemed to have committed an offence within Canada. Firstly, if the act or omission takes place on a ship that is registered or licensed, or for which an identification number has been issued, pursuant to any Act of Parliament; secondly, if the act or omission takes place on an aircraft that is registered in Canada or leased without crew and operated by a person qualified under regulations; thirdly, if the person committing the act or omission is a Canadian citizen or present in Canada after the offence has been committed and, lastly, if the act or omission is against an individual who enjoys the status of an internationally protected person by virtue of their functions on behalf of Canada or their family members. The objective underlying this provision is to ensure that individuals who commit acts against internationally protected persons or their property outside Canada face criminal prosecution in Canada, regardless of where the offence was committed. This ensures that Canada meets its obligations under international law to protect individuals who enjoy special status and to deter offences against them. The provision applies to a range of offences listed in subsection 7(3), including offences relating to assault, kidnapping, and terrorism. In practical terms, this means that if an individual outside Canada commits any of these offences against an internationally protected person or their property and falls within one of the four circumstances outlined in the provision, they can be prosecuted in Canada for the offence. One notable aspect of this provision is that it applies to acts committed on ships or aircraft. This is particularly relevant given the importance of maritime and air transportation in modern life, and the potential for offences to be committed against individuals in transit. By providing extra-territorial jurisdiction in these circumstances, the provision enhances the capacity of Canadian authorities to investigate and prosecute offences committed against internationally protected persons outside the country. Overall, section 7(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that complements Canada's international obligations to protect individuals who enjoy special status under international law. It ensures that individuals who commit offences against such persons or their property outside Canada face the prospect of criminal prosecution in Canada, which in turn supports deterrence and fosters respect for the rule of law.

STRATEGY

Section 7(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that outlines the implications of committing an act or omission against an internationally protected person or their property outside of Canada. As such, it is critical for law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to understand the strategic considerations and strategies that can be employed when dealing with this section. One major strategic consideration is the nature of the offence committed against the internationally protected person or their property. The offences listed in Section 7(3) are serious ones that carry severe penalties, including imprisonment. As such, it is important for authorities to thoroughly investigate the nature of the offence before taking action. This may require working with international partners to gather evidence, and in some cases, diplomatic efforts may be required to secure the cooperation of foreign governments. Another strategic consideration is the location of the offence. Section 7(3) specifies that the offence is deemed to have been committed in Canada if it is committed on a registered or licensed ship, a Canadian-registered aircraft, or if the offender is a Canadian citizen or present in Canada after the offence has been committed. As such, authorities may want to focus their efforts on investigating and prosecuting offenders who fall into one of these categories. One strategy that could be employed is to increase the awareness of Section 7(3) among law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders. This could involve training programs that educate officers on the provisions of the Criminal Code and how they can be applied in cases involving internationally protected persons. Additionally, outreach efforts to international organizations and foreign governments could help raise awareness of the potential consequences of committing an offence against an internationally protected person. Another strategy that could be employed is to increase cooperation and collaboration between law enforcement agencies in different countries. This could involve sharing intelligence and information, coordinating investigations, and working together to prosecute offenders. This could be particularly effective in cases where the offender is outside of Canada, but has committed an offence against an internationally protected person or their property. In conclusion, Section 7(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision that requires careful consideration and strategic planning when dealing with cases involving internationally protected persons. By implementing effective strategies, law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders can work together to ensure that offenders are brought to justice and that the rights of internationally protected persons are protected.

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