Bill C-26 (S.C. 2012 c. 9) Reforms to Self-Defence and Defence of Property
Bill C-26 the Citizens Arrest and Self-defence Act, S.C. 2012 c.9, came into force on march 11, 2013. The legislation replaces the old Criminal Code provisions on self-defence and defence of property with new and reformed defences.
The purpose of the Technical Guide is to promote, for legal practitioners, a common understanding of the purpose and effect of the reforms and a common set of arguments as to their application and interpretation, so as to produce meaningful and consistent jurisprudence as rapidly as possible, while avoiding both confusion and uncertainty.
In passing Bill C-26, Parliament's primary intent was to simplify the legislative text that sets out the defences. Self-defence and defence of property spans nine sections of the Criminal Code (sections 34-42). There are multiple distinct versions of each defence, each of which appears to be aimed at slightly different circumstance in which a defence claim might arise. For decades, this legislative approach to the defences has been criticized as being overly complex and detailed, and producing internally inconsistent versions of the same defence. The public was not served by a legislative text which even judges had difficulty in understanding and explaining.
Parliament’s intention in reforming the defences was to enact defences that express the fundamental principles that animate the laws of self-defence and defence of property so that the law itself corresponds to the approach taken by juries in deciding these cases.
The new self-defence law includes a non-exhaustive list of factors applicable to the determination of whether accused's actions were reasonable in the circumstances.
- Publisher - Current Organization Name: Department of Justice Canada
- Publisher - Organization Name at Publication: Department of Justice
- Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada
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|Bill C-26 (S.C. 2012 c.9) Reforms to Self-Defence and Defence of Property: Technical Guide for Practioners||Publication||HTML||French||Access|
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