INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION
722.2(2) On application of the prosecutor or a victim or on its own motion, the court may adjourn the proceedings to permit the victim to prepare a statement referred to in subsection 722(1) or to present evidence in accordance with subsection 722(3), if the court is satisfied that the adjournment would not interfere with the proper administration of justice.
Section 722.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada allows for a victim or prosecutor to request an adjournment of proceedings in order to prepare a statement or present evidence relating to the impact of the crime on the victim. This section is closely related to section 722 of the Criminal Code, which deals with victim impact statements. Victim impact statements can provide insight into the physical, emotional, and financial harm caused by the crime, as well as the impact on the victim's relationships, employment, and quality of life. In some cases, victims may need additional time to prepare their statements, particularly if they have experienced trauma or are struggling to come to terms with what has happened to them. Similarly, a prosecutor may have information that can strengthen the impact of the victim's statement, but need additional time to locate or prepare that evidence. In such instances, this section allows for an adjournment of proceedings to ensure that the full impact of the crime on the victim is taken into account. It is important to note that an adjournment must not interfere with the proper administration of justice. In other words, it cannot unduly delay the proceedings or unfairly impact the accused. The decision to grant an adjournment is ultimately up to the discretion of the presiding judge, who must consider the interests of justice for both the victim and the accused. Ultimately, the goal of this section is to ensure that the criminal justice system hears the voices of victims and that those voices have a meaningful impact on the sentencing and rehabilitation of offenders.
Section 722.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada offers the option of adjournment of proceedings for a victim of a criminal action to prepare a statement or to present evidence. This section is significant because it highlights the importance of the victim's role in criminal proceedings. A victim has a fundamental right to be considered in the criminal case, and this provision enhances their participation in the justice system. The provision offers the prosecutor the option to request an adjournment, but it is not mandatory. The victim can also make an application on their own. The court has the discretion to grant the adjournment under certain circumstances, as mentioned in the provision. The court has to determine that granting an adjournment will not interfere with the proper administration of justice. This means that granting an extension would not cause delay or prejudice the defendant's rights. The purpose of allowing an adjournment under this section is to provide the victim with the opportunity to prepare a statement or present evidence. Often, a victim may need more time or require assistance to gather their thoughts and develop an accurate statement that serves their interests and communicates the gravity of the impact of the crime. It allows the victim more control over their participation in the criminal justice process and ensures that their voice is heard in court. This section is especially significant in situations where the victim is marginalized or has limited resources. For example, a victim who lacks proficiency in the language of the court may require additional time to prepare a statement with the assistance of an interpreter. This provision ensures that the victim has access to justice and a fair process, regardless of any barriers they may face. One noteworthy aspect of this provision is that it acknowledges the value of victim impact statements in criminal proceedings. Section 722(1) allows for the presentation of such statements in court, providing the victim with the opportunity to express the impact the crime has had on their life. This testimony can be a powerful tool in sentencing and serves to humanize the criminal justice process. Allowing a victim to prepare a statement under this section emphasizes the importance of victim impact statements as a crucial component of the criminal justice system. Another crucial aspect of this provision is that it provides the opportunity for the victim to present additional evidence in court. This can be particularly important when the victim's testimony alone may not be sufficient to prove guilt. Allowing the victim to provide additional evidence helps to ensure that justice is served and that the defendant is held accountable for their actions. In conclusion, Section 722.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that enhances the participation of victims in criminal proceedings. It acknowledges the importance of the victim's role in the justice system, provides them with a voice, and ensures that they have access to justice regardless of any barriers they may face. This section of the Criminal Code affirms Canada's commitment to protect victims' rights and is a significant step toward a more compassionate and victim-centered justice system.
Section 722.2(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada gives the court the discretion to adjourn proceedings to allow the victim to prepare a statement or present evidence. This provision aims to ensure that the victim's perspective is given due consideration in criminal proceedings. For defense counsel, it is important to understand the implications of this section and develop strategies to address it. One strategic consideration when dealing with section 722.2(2) is the potential impact on the defendant's right to a fair trial. While the victim's voice is important, the court must balance this with the defendant's right to a fair trial. Counsel could argue that an adjournment would hinder their ability to provide an adequate defense for the accused, citing factors such as the potential impact on the admissibility of evidence or the memory of witnesses. Another strategy for defense counsel could be to engage in pre-trial negotiations with the prosecution. This could include agreeing to an adjournment in exchange for other concessions, such as a plea deal or the exclusion of certain evidence. By negotiating with the prosecution, defense counsel may be able to minimize the negative impact of an adjournment on the client's case. Furthermore, defense counsel could review the victim's statement or proposed evidence promptly to identify possible weaknesses and address them accordingly. This could include seeking clarification on certain details or challenging the admissibility of evidence. Counsel may also opt to present their client's side of the case more persuasively to the court, highlighting other factors such as character or personal circumstances. In conclusion, defense counsel must be proactive and carefully consider the implications of section 722.2(2) when representing their clients. An adjournment may provide an opportunity for the victim to present their case more effectively, but it also imposes risks that could result in unfair treatment of the accused or unnecessary delays in the trial. Counsel could develop strategies such as negotiating with the prosecution, carefully reviewing the evidence, or presenting their client's case more persuasively in court to mitigate any negative effects of the adjournment. By leveraging these strategies, defense counsel may be able to maintain their client's right to a fair trial while also addressing the needs of the victim in the proceedings.