section 83.31(2)

INTRODUCTION AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION

This section requires an annual report on the operation of section 83.3, including the number of consents obtained, warrants issued, persons not released pending a hearing, orders for recognizance, failures to comply, and varied conditions.

SECTION WORDING

83.31(2) The Attorney General of Canada shall prepare and cause to be laid before Parliament and the Attorney General of every province shall publish or otherwise make available to the public an annual report for the previous year on the operation of section 83.3 that includes (a) the number of consents to lay an information that were sought, and the number that were obtained, by virtue of subsections 83.3(1) and (2); (b) the number of cases in which a summons or a warrant of arrest was issued for the purposes of subsection 83.3(3); (c) the number of cases where a person was not released under subsection 83.3(7) pending a hearing; (d) the number of cases in which an order to enter into a recognizance was made under paragraph 83.3(8)(a), and the types of conditions that were imposed; (e) the number of times that a person failed or refused to enter into a recognizance, and the term of imprisonment imposed under subsection 83.3(9) in each case; and (f) the number of cases in which the conditions fixed in a recognizance were varied under subsection 83.3(13).

EXPLANATION

Section 83.31(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada pertains to the reporting requirements surrounding the use and operation of section 83.3 of the Code. This section outlines the specific information that must be included in both an annual report prepared by the Attorney General of Canada and in reports published or made available by each province's Attorney General to the public. The report must include details on the number of consents sought and obtained under subsections 83.3(1) and (2), which relate to obtaining a warrant or interception of communication for national security purposes. Additionally, it must detail the number of cases in which summons or arrest warrants were issued, the number of cases where individuals were not released pending hearings, the number of orders to enter into a recognizance, and the type of conditions imposed in those cases. Furthermore, the report must also include information on instances where individuals failed or refused to enter into a recognizance, and the corresponding term of imprisonment imposed under subsection 83.3(9). Lastly, information on the number of cases where conditions of recognizance were varied under subsection 83.3(13) is also required. Overall, Section 83.31(2) serves as an important accountability measure by requiring the transparent reporting of key national security provisions in the Criminal Code of Canada. By mandating the reporting of specific details related to the use of section 83.3, it promotes transparency in the government's actions and aims to ensure that the national security measures taken are appropriate and in line with the rule of law.

COMMENTARY

Section 83.31(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada outlines the requirements for the preparation and publication of an annual report on the operation of section 83.3. This section pertains to the investigation and prevention of terrorism-related offenses. The purpose of this annual report is to provide transparency and accountability in the use of these measures. One of the key requirements of the report is the disclosure of the number of consents sought and obtained under subsections 83.3(1) and (2). These subsections pertain to the authorization of preventative arrests or investigative hearings. Preventative arrests allow law enforcement officials to arrest individuals who they suspect may commit a terrorism-related offense. Investigative hearings allow for the compelled testimony of individuals who may have information relevant to a terrorism-related offense. The disclosure of the number of consents sought and obtained provides insight into the frequency of these measures being used. The annual report must also disclose the number of cases in which a summons or warrant of arrest was issued for the purposes of subsection 83.3(3). This subsection pertains to the arrest of individuals who have already committed a terrorism-related offense. Again, the disclosure of this information provides insight into the frequency of these measures being used. Another requirement of the report is the disclosure of the number of cases in which a person was not released under subsection 83.3(7) pending a hearing. This subsection allows for the detention of individuals if there are reasonable grounds to believe that their release would pose a threat to national security. The disclosure of this information provides insight into the number of cases where detention was deemed necessary for the protection of national security. The report must also provide information on the number of orders to enter into a recognizance that were made under paragraph 83.3(8)(a), and the types of conditions that were imposed. Recognizance orders allow for the imposition of conditions on individuals who have been deemed to pose a threat to national security. These conditions may include restrictions on travel or communication. Once again, the disclosure of this information provides insight into the frequency and types of conditions being imposed. The annual report must also disclose the number of times that a person failed or refused to enter into a recognizance, and the term of imprisonment imposed under subsection 83.3(9) in each case. This subsection allows for the imprisonment of individuals who fail to comply with recognizance orders. The disclosure of this information provides insight into the effectiveness of these measures in preventing terrorism-related offenses. Finally, the report must disclose the number of cases in which the conditions fixed in a recognizance were varied under subsection 83.3(13). This subsection allows for the variation of recognizance conditions if there are reasonable grounds to do so. The disclosure of this information provides insight into the flexibility of these measures in responding to changing circumstances. In conclusion, the requirements set out in section 83.31(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada are essential for providing transparency and accountability in the use of preventive and investigative measures related to terrorism-related offenses. The annual report provides insight into the frequency and effectiveness of these measures, as well as their impact on individuals' rights and freedoms. By requiring the publication of this information, the Criminal Code of Canada promotes the principles of openness and democratic accountability.

STRATEGY

One of the key strategic considerations when dealing with Section 83.31(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is the need to balance transparency and accountability with the need to protect sensitive information. On the one hand, the requirement for annual reporting ensures that the public and elected representatives are kept informed about the use of national security tools and the effectiveness of the legal framework in place. This helps to promote confidence in the government's approach to countering terrorism and other national security threats. At the same time, however, there may be situations where disclosing too much information could compromise ongoing investigations, intelligence sources, or other sensitive matters. As a result, it is important to carefully consider what information should be included in the annual report, and to ensure that any sensitive or classified information is appropriately redacted or protected. Another strategic consideration involves the need to balance civil liberties and security concerns. Section 83.3 of the Criminal Code of Canada allows for the detention of individuals suspected of being involved in terrorism or other national security threats, but also includes provisions for judicial oversight and the protection of individual rights. As a result, it is important to ensure that any use of these provisions is proportionate to the actual threat posed by the individual in question and is consistent with international human rights obligations. One potential strategy for balancing these concerns could be to establish an independent oversight body to review the use of Section 83.3 and other national security tools. This could help to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place to protect civil liberties while also allowing for effective law enforcement and counterterrorism measures. Other potential strategies for dealing with Section 83.31(2) could include increased training and resources for law enforcement and legal professionals in dealing with national security cases, as well as measures to enhance communication and coordination between different levels of government and between national security agencies. Overall, the key will be to ensure that any strategies employed strike the right balance between protecting individual rights and promoting national security.