section 83.01(1)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section defines terrorist activity as certain specified offenses or any act committed for a political, religious, or ideological purpose with the intention of intimidating the public or causing harm, including conspiracy or attempts, but excludes actions in accordance with international law during armed conflict.

SECTION WORDING

83.01 (1) The following definitions apply in this Part. "terrorist activity" means (a) an act or omission that is committed in or outside Canada and that, if committed in Canada, is one of the following offences: (i) the offences referred to in subsection 7(2) that implement the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, signed at The Hague on December 16, 1970, (ii) the offences referred to in subsection 7(2) that implement the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, signed at Montreal on September 23, 1971, (iii) the offences referred to in subsection 7(3) that implement the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 14, 1973, (iv) the offences referred to in subsection 7(3.1) that implement the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 17, 1979, (v) the offences referred to in subsection 7(3.4) or (3.6) that implement the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, done at Vienna and New York on March 3, 1980, (vi) the offences referred to in subsection 7(2) that implement the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, signed at Montreal on February 24, 1988, (vii) the offences referred to in subsection 7(2.1) that implement the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, done at Rome on March 10, 1988, (viii) the offences referred to in subsection 7(2.1) or (2.2) that implement the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf, done at Rome on March 10, 1988, (ix) the offences referred to in subsection 7(3.72) that implement the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 15, 1997, and (x) the offences referred to in subsection 7(3.73) that implement the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1999, or (b) an act or omission, in or outside Canada, (i) that is committed (A) in whole or in part for a political, religious or ideological purpose, objective or cause, and (B) in whole or in part with the intention of intimidating the public, or a segment of the public, with regard to its security, including its economic security, or compelling a person, a government or a domestic or an international organization to do or to refrain from doing any act, whether the public or the person, government or organization is inside or outside Canada, and (ii) that intentionally (A) causes death or serious bodily harm to a person by the use of violence, (B) endangers a persons life, (C) causes a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or any segment of the public, (D) causes substantial property damage, whether to public or private property, if causing such damage is likely to result in the conduct or harm referred to in any of clauses (A) to (C), or (E) causes serious interference with or serious disruption of an essential service, facility or system, whether public or private, other than as a result of advocacy, protest, dissent or stoppage of work that is not intended to result in the conduct or harm referred to in any of clauses (A) to (C), and includes a conspiracy, attempt or threat to commit any such act or omission, or being an accessory after the fact or counselling in relation to any such act or omission, but, for greater certainty, does not include an act or omission 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 the 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 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the definition of terrorist activity" and the related offences in Canada. The definition of terrorist activity includes acts or omissions committed inside or outside Canada for political, religious or ideological purposes that intend to intimidate the public or cause harm. These acts include causing death or serious bodily harm, endangering a person's life, causing substantial property damage or disrupting essential services. The section also includes a list of specific offences that implement international conventions related to terrorism. It is important to note that acts or omissions committed during an armed conflict and in accordance with international law are not classified as terrorist activities. The section also includes conspiracy, attempt, or threat to commit such acts or omissions, and being an accessory after the fact or counselling related to any such act or omission as part of a terrorist activity. Overall, section 83.01(1) serves as a legal framework to prosecute individuals or groups involved in terrorist activities and to ensure public safety and security in Canada.

COMMENTARY

Section 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines terrorist activity" and establishes the offences that constitute terrorist activity under Canadian law. This definition is crucial to identifying and prosecuting those who engage in terrorism within Canada. The section lists several offences that are considered terrorist activities under Canadian law, including acts of violence against specific targets, such as aircraft, diplomats, and structures such as nuclear facilities and airports. The list also includes actions that have broader impacts, such as causing serious harm to individuals or organizations with the goal of intimidating the public or compelling action. The inclusion of the political, religious or ideological motivations for these actions is an important aspect of the definition of terrorist activity under Canadian law. This recognizes that terrorism is often carried out based on extreme beliefs or values, and seeks to undermine societal norms and order. It also highlights the importance of addressing the underlying causes of extremism in order to prevent further acts of terror. The definition of terrorist activity also recognizes the importance of the international community in combating terrorism. By referencing international conventions and agreements, Canada is expressing its commitment to working with other countries to prevent and respond to terrorism. However, it's important to note that this section does not apply to acts committed during armed conflict that are in accordance with international law. This recognition of the unique circumstances of armed conflict and the role of military actions underscores the importance of distinguishing terrorism from other types of violence. Overall, Section 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important tool in combating terrorism within Canada. By providing a clear definition of terrorist activity," Canadian law enforcement agencies are better equipped to identify and prosecute those who seek to cause harm and undermine our society.

STRATEGY

When dealing with Section 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada, there are several strategic considerations that must be taken into account by law enforcement agencies and government authorities. Some of the most important of these are outlined below. Firstly, it is important to recognize that this section of the Criminal Code is very broad in its scope, covering a wide range of different types of activity that can be considered as terrorist offences. As a result, it is important to have a clear understanding of what constitutes a terrorist offence under this section, and to develop effective strategies to identify and investigate such offences when they occur. Secondly, it is important to recognize that terrorism is a global phenomenon that transcends national boundaries. As such, strategic considerations must take into account the need for international cooperation and coordination in order to effectively combat terrorism. This may involve working with other countries to share information and intelligence, as well as collaborating on investigations and prosecutions. Thirdly, it is important to recognize that preventing terrorism requires a multi-faceted approach that involves not just law enforcement and intelligence agencies, but also other government departments and agencies, as well as community groups and civil society organizations. This means that strategies must be developed that provide a coordinated response across these different sectors, and that engage with communities to build trust and support for efforts to combat terrorism. Some strategies that could be employed to deal with Section 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada include: - Developing effective intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities that can identify potential threats and help to prevent terrorist attacks before they occur. - Increasing resources for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to investigate and prosecute terrorist offences, while also ensuring that basic rights and freedoms are protected. - Strengthening border control and immigration policies to prevent individuals who may pose a threat to national security from entering the country. - Developing effective community outreach programs that engage with at-risk communities to build trust and reduce the risk of radicalization and recruitment to violent extremist groups. - Working with international partners to share intelligence and coordinate efforts to combat terrorism globally. - Strengthening legal frameworks and international conventions that support the prosecution of terrorist offences, while also protecting basic human rights and freedoms.

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