INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
Courts must prioritize denunciation and deterrence when sentencing for certain crimes.
718.02 When a court imposes a sentence for an offence under subsection 270(1), section 270.01 or 270.02 or paragraph 423.1(1)(b), the court shall give primary consideration to the objectives of denunciation and deterrence of the conduct that forms the basis of the offence.
Section 718.02 of the Criminal Code of Canada lays out specific guidelines for judges when sentencing individuals who have committed certain crimes. This section is particularly relevant in cases involving offences under subsection 270(1) (forcible confinement), section 270.01 (human trafficking), section 270.02 (trafficking in persons), or paragraph 423.1(1)(b) (terrorism). According to this section, when a court is imposing a sentence for one of these offences, the primary objectives that the judge should consider are denunciation and deterrence. Denunciation refers to the public condemnation of the offender's actions - the court is sending a message that this behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated in society. Deterrence refers to the goal of discouraging others from engaging in similar conduct. The fear of punishment should serve as a deterrent to others who may be considering committing the same offence. When considering these factors, the judge must also take into account the individual circumstances of the offender and the offence. This includes the severity of the crime, the offender's criminal history, and any mitigating factors that could impact their sentence. Overall, Section 718.02 serves as a guide for judges when sentencing those who have committed serious offences that threaten the safety and security of society. By considering the objectives of denunciation and deterrence, judges aim to protect the public and prevent further harm from being inflicted.
Section 718.02 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides guidance to Canadian courts on how they should impose sentences when a person has been found guilty of an offence under subsection 270(1), section 270.01 or 270.02 or paragraph 423.1(1)(b). These offences relate to sexual assault and terrorism respectively, which are serious offences that have a significant impact on the individuals involved, their families, and society as a whole. The section mandates that the court "shall give primary consideration to the objectives of denunciation and deterrence of the conduct that forms the basis of the offence." Denunciation refers to public condemnation of the conduct that led to the offence and serves to express societal disapproval of the crime. It is an important aspect of the criminal justice system as it reinforces the message that certain conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Deterrence, on the other hand, refers to discouraging others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. It is intended to create fear in the minds of potential offenders and serve as a warning that similar conduct will be met with serious consequences. The use of denunciation and deterrence in sentencing is not new. The Canadian criminal justice system has long been based on the principles of retribution, deterrence, and rehabilitation. However, the mandatory requirement for courts to give primary consideration to denunciation and deterrence when imposing sentences for the offences mentioned in section 718.02 indicates the seriousness of these offences and the need for strong sentences that send a clear message to society. In recent years, there has been increased awareness and concern about sexual assault and terrorism in Canada. The #MeToo movement and high-profile cases of sexual assault have brought attention to the issue of sexual violence and the need for justice and accountability for victims. Similarly, the rise of global terrorism has led to increased fear and uncertainty for Canadians. These factors make it all the more important for Canadian courts to send a clear message that these offences will not be tolerated and that serious consequences will follow. While denunciation and deterrence are important sentencing objectives, they are not the only ones. Section 718 of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines several other objectives of sentencing, including rehabilitation, reparation, and the protection of society. These objectives must also be taken into account when imposing a sentence. Despite the importance of denunciation and deterrence, there are concerns about the mandatory nature of section 718.02. Some argue that the mandatory requirement limits judicial discretion and prevents judges from considering the unique circumstances of individual cases. Others argue that mandatory sentencing removes any potential for rehabilitation and places undue emphasis on punishment rather than prevention. It is therefore important that judges consider the specific circumstances of each case when imposing a sentence, even for offences outlined in section 718.02. A one-size-fits-all approach to sentencing may not be appropriate or effective in all cases. Judges must carefully consider all of the objectives of sentencing and determine an appropriate sentence that considers the unique circumstances of the offence and the offender. In conclusion, section 718.02 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an important guideline for Canadian courts when imposing sentences for offences related to sexual assault and terrorism. While denunciation and deterrence are important objectives of sentencing, they must be considered in conjunction with other objectives such as rehabilitation and the protection of society. Judges must exercise their discretion in determining an appropriate sentence that considers all of the relevant factors, including the unique circumstances of the offence and the offender.
Section 718.02 of the Criminal Code of Canada pertains to sentencing for certain sexual offences, with particular emphasis on the principles of denunciation and deterrence. When dealing with this section of the Criminal Code, there are various strategic considerations that can be taken into account to ensure that the objectives of the law are met, and that the sentence imposed is proportionate and just. Some of these strategic considerations and strategies are discussed below: 1. Understanding the Offence: The first strategic consideration is to understand the nature of the offence and the surrounding circumstances. This includes considering the severity of the offence, the impact on the victim, the offender's history, and any mitigating or aggravating factors. This information will inform the appropriate sentence and help ensure that it aligns with the principles of denunciation and deterrence. 2. Public Sentiment: The public sentiment towards sexual offences is generally negative, and rightly so. As such, there may be pressure from the public to impose harsher sentences for these types of offences. While it is important to consider the views of the public, the court must also ensure that the sentence aligns with the principles of proportionality, fairness, and justice. 3. Sentencing Guidelines: Canadian courts have developed sentencing guidelines for certain offences, including sexual assault. These guidelines provide a framework for judges to follow when determining an appropriate sentence. By using these guidelines, judges can ensure that the sentence imposed is consistent and proportional to the offence. 4. Alternative Sentencing: Sometimes, the best way to achieve the objectives of denunciation and deterrence is not through traditional forms of sentencing like imprisonment. Alternative sentencing options, such as community service, therapy, or probation, may be better suited to rehabilitate offenders and prevent future offences. When incorporating alternative sentencing options, the court needs to ensure that the sentence is proportionate and consistent with the objectives of the law. 5. Victim Impact Statements: Victim impact statements allow victims to describe the physical, emotional, and financial harm they have suffered because of the offence. Judges can use this information to inform the sentence and ensure that it aligns with the principles of denunciation and deterrence. 6. Education and Prevention: Finally, a strategic consideration when dealing with Section 718.02 is the importance of education and prevention. By educating the public about sexual offences and the laws relating to them, the likelihood of these types of crimes occurring can be reduced. Additionally, offender rehabilitation programs can be implemented to prevent re-offending and further harm to victims. In conclusion, Section 718.02 of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the importance of denunciation and deterrence when imposing sentences for certain sexual offences. There are various strategic considerations that can be taken into account when dealing with this section of the law, such as understanding the offence and its circumstances, following sentencing guidelines, considering alternative sentencing options, referencing victim impact statements, and prioritizing education and prevention efforts. By considering these factors, judges can ensure that the sentence imposed is fair, just, and consistent with the objectives of the law.