section 83.3(13)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section allows a judge to modify conditions set in a recognizance upon application from a peace officer, Attorney General, or person involved.

SECTION WORDING

83.3(13) The judge, or any other judge of the same court, may, on application of the peace officer, the Attorney General or the person, vary the conditions fixed in the recognizance.

EXPLANATION

Section 83.3(13) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a provision that allows the judge to vary the conditions that are fixed in the recognizance upon the application of the peace officer, the Attorney General, or the person involved. A recognizance is a form of bail that an accused person signs, promising to comply with certain conditions, in exchange for their release while awaiting trial. This provision ensures that the conditions set by the court are relevant and appropriate to the circumstances of the case. It allows for changes to be made if new information arises or if the situation of the accused person changes. For example, if the accused person has moved to a new location, the peace officer may apply to have a new residence listed as a condition of the recognizance, or if the accused person is experiencing mental health issues, the conditions could be adjusted to ensure that they receive the necessary treatment. The provision aims to protect public safety and prevent the accused person from committing new offences while on bail. By enabling the judge to vary the conditions, it ensures that the accused person is complying with the obligations set out by the court and reduces the risk of reoffending. Overall, Section 83.3(13) is an important provision that facilitates the administration of justice and ensures that the conditions set by the court are relevant and appropriate under the circumstances. It provides the necessary flexibility to adjust the conditions if needed and ensures that they are effective in achieving their intended purpose.

COMMENTARY

Section 83.3(13) of the Criminal Code of Canada grants a judge or any other judge of the same court the power to vary the conditions fixed in the recognizance, on the application of the peace officer, the Attorney General, or the person. Essentially, this provision allows for flexibility in the administration of justice with regards to recognizances, which are agreements or promises made by individuals who are suspected of engaging in or promoting terrorism. The provision is particularly significant for several reasons, starting with the fact that it pertains to the administration of justice in relation to terrorism offenses. This means that the stakes are particularly high when it comes to the conditions set out in a recognizance, as terrorism is a serious threat to the safety and security of individuals, communities, and the nation. Thus, it is critical that there be mechanisms in place to ensure that recognizances are effective in protecting the public and preventing terrorism. One way in which Section 83.3(13) contributes to this goal is by allowing for the conditions of a recognizance to be adapted to suit changing circumstances. For example, if the peace officer responsible for monitoring the individual under a recognizance learns new information about the individual's activities or associations, they may wish to adjust the conditions of the recognizance accordingly. Similarly, if the person subject to a recognizance finds that they are having trouble complying with certain conditions due to, say, a change in their living situation or work commitments, they may wish to request that the conditions be modified. The provision in question allows for both of these scenarios to be addressed, ensuring that the recognizance remains an effective tool in preventing terrorism. Another important aspect of Section 83.3(13) is that it gives a range of actors the ability to apply for a variation of the recognizance. This includes not only the peace officer and the person subject to the recognizance, but also the Attorney General. This broad scope of application is reflective of the fact that terrorism cases often involve a wide range of individuals and organizations with different roles and expertise. By allowing for multiple stakeholders to participate in the process of varying a recognizance, the provision promotes a more collaborative and informed approach to combating terrorism. The provision also underscores the importance of judicial oversight in the administration of recognizances. By giving judges the power to vary the conditions of a recognizance, the provision ensures that there is a check in place to ensure that the conditions are reasonable and appropriate. This is crucial in light of the circumstances under which recognizances are typically sought: they are often applied for on the basis of suspicion or potential threats rather than concrete evidence of wrongdoing. By allowing for judicial oversight, Section 83.3(13) helps to ensure that the use of recognizances is proportionate and properly balanced with individual rights and freedoms. In conclusion, Section 83.3(13) of the Criminal Code of Canada plays an important role in the administration of justice with regards to terrorism offenses. By allowing for the conditions of a recognizance to be varied by judges in response to changing circumstances, and by empowering multiple stakeholders to apply for such variations, the provision ensures that recognizances remain an effective tool in preventing terrorism. Additionally, by requiring judicial oversight of the conditions set out in a recognizance, the provision helps to ensure that their use is proportionate and properly balanced with individual rights and freedoms.

STRATEGY

Section 83.3(13) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a noteworthy provision that gives the judge or any other judge of the same court the power to vary the conditions fixed in the recognizance upon the application of a peace officer, the Attorney General or the person. This provision is pertinent in the context of terrorism offenses and is aimed at ensuring that the conditions of release remain effective, practical and realistic to meet the evolving nature of the threat. This provision also enables the court to respond to emerging risks, threats and changes in circumstances that may arise in the course of the proceedings. When dealing with section 83.3(13), some critical strategic considerations must be considered to ensure the success of the application and the safety of the community. First and foremost, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the facts and circumstances of the case as well as the conditions of release that require amendment. This will help in identifying the specific areas that require an amendment and the appropriate strategy to be used. Another critical strategic consideration is the timing of the application. It is crucial to apply for a variation of the recognizance as soon as practicable once the need for such variation arises. This will ensure that the conditions of release remain effective and relevant and that the community remains protected. Delay in applying for the variation of the recognizance may exacerbate the risk to the community and may affect the success of the application. It is also essential to consider the nature and severity of the offense, the risk level posed by the accused, and the impact of the proposed amendments on the accused. The court must weigh these considerations against the risk to the community and the need to ensure the accused adheres to the conditions of release. Some strategies that can be employed when making an application under section 83.3(13) of the Criminal Code include: 1. Providing clear and concise evidence of the need for the variation and how the proposed amendments will alleviate the risk to the community. This may include expert reports, police reports, and other relevant evidence. 2. Coordinating with the police and other relevant agencies to obtain all the relevant information on the accused, including any material that may help the court arrive at an informed decision. 3. Engaging the accused and ensuring that they are aware of the proposed amendments and the impact they may have. 4. Demonstrating that the proposed amendments are reasonable, practical, and necessary to protect the community adequately. 5. Providing a clear plan on how the accused will abide by the amended conditions of release. 6. Building a strong case on why the variation is necessary and highlighting the potential risks to the community if the variations are not granted. In conclusion, section 83.3(13) of the Criminal Code of Canada provides a mechanism for varying the conditions fixed in the recognizance to meet the evolving nature of the threat. To ensure success, strategic considerations must be keenly observed when making an application. These considerations include a clear understanding of the facts, timing of the application, nature and severity of the offense, and impact of the proposed amendments on the accused. By employing practical strategies such as providing clear evidence, engaging the accused, and building a strong case, the court can make informed decisions that protect the community while respecting the rights of the accused.