section 82.7

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section clarifies that sections 82.3 to 82.6 do not apply to acts committed during armed conflict that are in accordance with customary or conventional international law or undertaken by military forces in the exercise of their official duties.

SECTION WORDING

82.7 For greater certainty, sections 82.3 to 82.6 do not apply to an act that is committed during an armed conflict and that, at the time and in the place of its commission, is in accordance with customary international law or conventional international law applicable to the conflict, or to activities undertaken by military forces of a state in the exercise of their official duties, to the extent that those activities are governed by other rules of international law.

EXPLANATION

Section 82.7 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides an exemption for acts committed during an armed conflict in accordance with customary or conventional international law, or those undertaken by military forces of a state in the exercise of their official duties. This section ensures that individuals and military personnel are not subject to prosecution under sections 82.3 to 82.6 of the Criminal Code for acts carried out during an armed conflict that are deemed legal under international law. Customary international law refers to the unwritten rules and practices that have been accepted as law by states. Conventional international law, on the other hand, is a set of written agreements and treaties between states. These laws govern the conduct of individuals and states during armed conflicts. Section 82.7 recognizes that the rules of international law may differ from domestic criminal law and provides an exception for acts that are permitted under international law but would otherwise be considered criminal in Canada. Additionally, this section explicitly excludes acts committed during an armed conflict from being subject to sections 82.3 to 82.6 of the Criminal Code, which outline the offense of participating in a terrorist group, facilitating terrorist activity, and instructing to carry out terrorist activity, respectively. This exclusion reflects the understanding that the actions of military personnel during an armed conflict are not necessarily equatable with terrorist activities. Overall, Section 82.7 of the Criminal Code of Canada recognizes the complexities of armed conflicts and seeks to provide legal protection for individuals and military personnel acting in accordance with international law.

COMMENTARY

Section 82.7 of the Canadian Criminal Code exempts certain acts from being considered terrorist activities if they are committed during an armed conflict and in accordance with international laws. The section, therefore, raises questions about the relationship between terrorism and armed conflict and the role of international law in determining what constitutes terrorism. The definition of terrorism and its distinction from legitimate acts of war have been topics of debate among scholars and policymakers. Some argue that terrorism represents a form of violence that targets civilians and seeks to create fear and intimidate governments or societies to achieve political goals. Others contend that terrorism is a term that is often used to justify state violence and suppress legitimate dissent. The exemption provided by Section 82.7 is intended to make it clear that certain actions undertaken during armed conflict are not terrorism as defined within Canadian law. The use of the term "customary international law or conventional international law applicable to the conflict" indicates that the Canadian government recognizes the importance of adhering to recognized international standards in determining what constitutes terrorism. One of the key elements of the exemption is the reference to military forces of a state "in the exercise of their official duties." This suggests that the actions of military personnel within the context of their responsibilities to their state may not be considered terrorist activities. It is important to note, however, that even states are bound by international law and can be held accountable for violations of human rights and other abuses. The exemption raises concerns about the potential misuse of the term "armed conflict" to justify violence and repression. If the exemption is applied too broadly, it could create a situation where any violence committed in the context of an armed conflict is automatically exempt from terrorism charges. This could provide cover for state-sponsored violence and other abuses. Finally, it is worth noting that the exemption provided by Section 82.7 is not absolute. The provision makes it clear that acts committed during armed conflict must be in accordance with international law to be exempt from terrorism charges. This means that any act that violates established international standards, including the protections afforded by the Geneva Conventions, could still be subject to criminal prosecution. In conclusion, Section 82.7 of the Canadian Criminal Code exempts certain acts from being considered terrorist activities if they are committed during an armed conflict and in accordance with international law. The exemption is meant to ensure that legitimate acts of war are not prosecuted as terrorism while still recognizing the importance of adherence to international standards. Careful application of this exemption is required to ensure that it is not used to justify state-sponsored violence or human rights abuses.

STRATEGY

Section 82.7 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides exceptions to the application of sections 82.3 to 82.6 in cases where the act of violence is committed during an armed conflict and is in compliance with customary or conventional international law governing the conflict. The section also excludes military activities performed by the military forces of a state when governed by international law. This provision presents some strategic considerations that need to be analyzed to ensure compliance and avoid unjust convictions and wrongful accusations. This essay discusses some strategic considerations and possible strategies that could be employed to deal with section 82.7 of the Criminal Code of Canada. One crucial strategic consideration when dealing with section 82.7 is to ensure the act in question falls within the confines of customary or conventional international law governing the conflict. It is vital to understand that the section does not provide absolute immunity to acts committed during an armed conflict. It only offers protection for actions that comply with international laws. This means that parties involved in an armed conflict must ensure compliance with international laws that govern the conflict. Some strategies that parties could apply include seeking legal advice from seasoned legal professionals, training their military personnel on international law, and conducting due diligence before engaging in any activities that may be deemed violent or aggressive. Another critical strategic consideration when dealing with section 82.7 is to recognize that the exception only applies to acts committed during an armed conflict. Therefore, acts committed outside the context of an armed conflict cannot rely on the section for protection. This means that parties must be mindful of the situation and their actions and avoid engaging in unnecessary violence that does not fall within the confines of an armed conflict. To achieve this, parties could engage in conflict resolution and peace talks to avoid violent confrontations. Further, military forces of a state can only rely on the exception when they are acting within the scope of their official duties. This means that non-official and rogue elements within the military cannot rely on the section for protection. Therefore, states must take measures to ensure uniform adherence to international laws governing the conflict by their military personnel. They could adopt measures such as continuous training, vetting of recruits, and setting up oversight mechanisms to keep their military personnel in check. Moreover, the exception only applies to activities undertaken by military forces of a state and not to non-state actors involved in the conflict. Therefore, non-state actors must be aware that their actions are not protected by the section and ensure compliance with international laws to avoid prosecution and conviction. Some anti-state groups may operate outside the confines of international law, and it is essential to recognize that such acts may result in criminal convictions. In conclusion, section 82.7 of the Criminal Code of Canada provides exceptions to sections 82.3 to 82.6 in cases of violent activity committed during an armed conflict within the confines of customary or conventional international law governing the conflict. The section also provides an exception for military activities undertaken by the military forces of a state as part of their official duties. When dealing with the section, it is critical to ensure compliance with international law governing the conflict, avoid unnecessary violence outside an armed conflict, ensure adherence by military personnel, and recognize the exception does not apply to non-state actors. Employing these strategies could help avoid unjust convictions and wrongful accusations.