section 83.14(7)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

A judge may require notice to be given to anyone with an interest in property in an application under subsection (1) of section 83.14 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

SECTION WORDING

83.14(7) On an application under subsection (1), a judge may require notice to be given to any person who, in the opinion of the Court, appears to have an interest in the property, and any such person shall be entitled to be added as a respondent to the application.

EXPLANATION

Section 83.14(7) of the Canadian Criminal Code concerns the process of applying under subsection (1) for the restraint of property believed to be proceeds of crime. This section specifies that a judge may demand that notice be provided to any person who appears to have an interest in the property in question. This notice provides all parties involved with sufficient information and notice of the application being made, allowing them to contest or contest the application's merit. The objective of this provision is to ensure that all interested parties are made aware of any potential legal actions that would affect their interests or rights in the property. In many cases, individuals and organizations may have an interest in property that is the subject of a restraint application, whether it be a lien holder or a purchaser who had an agreement in place for future ownership. If not appropriately notified of the legal action being taken against the property and their interests, they could face significant loss unnecessarily. Thus, section 83.14(7) ensures that fundamental elements of natural justice are taken into account by allowing any person with an interest in the property to be added as a respondent to the application and present evidence to the court as to why the property should not be restrained. Overall, the provision ensures that fair process is followed in the restraint of property applications and that all parties involved have access to justice.

COMMENTARY

Section 83.14(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada addresses the procedure that must be followed when an individual or entity is deemed to have an interest in property that is the subject of an application under subsection (1) of the same section. This provision is designed to ensure that all relevant parties are apprised of the proceedings and have the opportunity to participate in them as necessary. The purpose of the notice requirement is to inform all persons who may have an interest in the property of the application and give them the chance to be added as a respondent to the case. This is important because anyone claiming an interest in the property has the right to be heard before any final order is made by the judge. The wording of the provision is broad and gives judges discretion to determine who should be provided with notice based on the circumstances of each case. There is no specific definition provided in the Code of what constitutes an interest" in the property, leaving the determination up to the discretion of the judge based on the specific facts of the case. This flexibility allows for a tailored approach that considers all relevant factors that arise in each case. The right to be added as a respondent to the application is not automatic, as it is entirely dependent on the judge's determination of whether the person has an interest in the property. The implication of this is that someone could make an application for forfeiture of property, and the court might deem persons interested in the property irrelevant. This is because the alleged interest of the party must be of relevance to the matter which requires the court's attention. Overall, this provision ensures that all parties with an interest in the property subject to forfeiture proceedings have an opportunity to have their say before any order is made. It is a right that protects the interests of those affected by the application and ensures that justice is done. By requiring notice to be given to all interested parties, this section of the Criminal Code underscores the importance of due process in justice administration. Finally, this provision of the Criminal Code is consistent with Canada's commitment to ensuring that its citizens are afforded their civil liberties, even when they are suspected of engaging in criminal activity. Adding all interested parties as respondents to the case also ensures that the interests of those parties are protected by the law, preventing wrongful forfeiture of property. It further exemplifies the need for transparency and fairness in proceedings, ensuring that justice is administered in a manner consistent with the Rule of Law.

STRATEGY

Section 83.14(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a crucial provision that imposes a significant burden on the Crown when invoking the provisions of the anti-terrorism legislation. The section requires a judge to provide notice to anyone who has an interest in the property that is the subject of the application. Furthermore, such a person has the right to be added as a respondent to the application. The purpose of this provision is to protect the interests of individuals who may be affected by the seizure and forfeiture of the alleged terrorist property. Strategic Considerations The section places a burden on the Crown to comply with the notice requirement effectively. Any failure to meet this requirement could result in significant delays and potential legal challenges to the proceedings. Therefore, Crown counsel must consider the following strategic considerations when dealing with this section of the Criminal Code: 1. Identification of Persons with an Interest in the Property Before making an application for seizure and forfeiture of alleged terrorist property, the Crown must determine whether there are any third parties who may have an interest in the property. This may include individuals who have an ownership interest in the property, such as landlords or tenants. It may also include financial institutions that hold a security interest in the property. 2. Timing of the Application Crown counsel must carefully time the application for seizure and forfeiture of alleged terrorist property to allow sufficient time for notice to be given. The timeframes for notice vary depending on the circumstances, and the requirements can be complex. In some cases, notice must be provided within a particular time period before the application is made, while in others, it may be possible to provide notice at the same time as the application. 3. Responding to Third-Party Claims When a third party makes a claim to the alleged terrorist property, the Crown must respond to that claim. This may involve providing additional evidence to support the seizure and forfeiture of the property or negotiating a settlement with the third party. If no settlement is reached, the matter may proceed to a hearing, which can lead to significant legal costs. Strategies That Could Be Employed When dealing with Section 83.14(7), Crown counsel may consider the following strategies: 1. Preparing Comprehensive Evidence To support the seizure and forfeiture of the alleged terrorist property, Crown counsel should prepare comprehensive evidence that addresses all potential challenges. This may involve reviewing financial records, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing other relevant evidence. 2. Negotiating Settlements When a third party asserts an interest in the alleged terrorist property, Crown counsel may consider negotiating a settlement to avoid the cost and risk of litigation. Settlements may involve payment of a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the property or other concessions that are acceptable to the parties. 3. Retaining Experts Where necessary, Crown counsel may retain experts to provide specialized evidence or to assist in responding to third-party claims. For example, the Crown may retain a real estate appraiser to value the property or an attorney to advise on complex legal issues. Conclusion Section 83.14(7) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision that requires the Crown to provide notice to third parties who may have an interest in the alleged terrorist property. Strategic considerations must be kept in mind when dealing with this section, including identifying persons with an interest in the property, timing of the application, and responding to third-party claims. Employing strategies such as preparing comprehensive evidence, negotiating settlements, and retaining experts can contribute to successful outcomes in seizure and forfeiture proceedings related to terrorist property.