Bribery (Offence)

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Bribery
s. 119 and 120 of the Crim. Code
Election / Plea
Crown Election Indictment
Jurisdiction s. 119:
Prov. Court

Sup. Court w/ Jury (*)
Sup. Court w/ Judge-alone (*)
* Must be indictable. Preliminary inquiry also available.
s. 120:
Sup. Court w/ Jury (*)
Sup. Court w/ Judge-alone (*)

* Preliminary inquiry also available.
Types of Release Judicial Release Only
Indictable Dispositions
Avail. Disp. Discharge (730)

Suspended Sentence (731(1)(a))
Fine (734)
Fine + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail (718.3, 787)
Jail + Probation (731(1)(b))
Jail + Fine (734)

Conditional Sentence (742.1)
Minimum None
Maximum 14 years incarceration
Reference
Offence Elements
Sentence Digests

Overview

Offences relating to bribery are found in Part IV of the Criminal Code concerning "Offences Against the Administration of Law and Justice".

Pleadings

Offence
Section
Offence
Type
Crown Election Defence Election
s. 536(2)
s. 119 [Bribery of judicial officers] Indictable Offence(s) N/A No, exclusive jurisdiction.
Presumptive jury trial
s. 120 [Bribery of officers, other] Indictable Offence(s) N/A Yes

Offences under s. 119 [bribery of judicial officers] are exclusive jurisdiction offences under s. 469 and so cannot be tried by a provincial court judge. It is presumptively tried by judge and jury.

Offences under s. 120 [bribery of officers] are straight indictable. There is a Defence election of Court under s. 536(2).

Release

Offence(s) Attendance Notice
Without Arrest

s. 496
Summons
Without Arrest
s. 497
Release By
Arresting Officer
On Attendance Notice
s. 497
Release By
Officer-in-Charge
On a Promise to Appear
Undertaking or Recognizance
s. 498
Release By
a Judge or Justice
on a PTA, Undertaking or Recog.

s. 515
Direct to Attend
for Fingerprints, etc.
Identification of Criminals Act

s. 2 ID Crim. Act
s. 119 or 120 X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png

An accused charged under s. 119 or 120 is a s. 469 offence and so can only be released by a Superior Court Judge under s. 522.

If police decide to bring the accused before a Justice pursuant to s. 503, there will be a presumption against bail (i.e. a reverse onus) if the offence, prosecuted by indictment, was committed:

  • while at large under s. 515 [bail release], 679 or 680 [release pending appeal or review of appeal] (s. 515(6)(a)(i));
  • "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association" with a criminal organization (s. 515(6)(a)(ii));
  • where the offence involved a firearm, cross-bow, prohibited weapon restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or explosive substance, while the accused was subject to a prohibition order preventing possession of these items (s. 515(6)(a)(viii)); or
  • where the accused is not "ordinarily a resident in Canada" (s. 515(6)(b)).

A peace officer who charges a person under s. 119 or 120 of the Code can require that person to attend for the taking of fingerprints, photographs or other similar recordings that are used to identify them under the Identification of Criminals Act.

Publication Bans
For all offences there is a discretionary general publication ban available on application of the Crown, victim or witness to prohibit the publishing of "any information that could identify the victim or witness" under s. 486.5(1) where it is "necessary" for the "proper administration of justice". Other available publication bans include prohibitions for publishing evidence or other information arising from a bail hearing (s. 517), preliminary inquiry (s. 539) or jury trial (s. 648). There is a mandatory publication ban in all youth prosecutions on information tending to identify young accused under s. 110 of the YCJA or young victims under s. 111 of the YCJA.

Offence Designations
Offences under 119 and 120 are designated offences eligible for wiretap under s. 183.

Offences under s. 119 require the consent of the Attorney General to prosecute.

See below in Ancillary Sentencing Orders for details on designations relating to sentencing orders.

Offence Wording

Bribery of judicial officers, etc.
119. (1) Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years who

(a) being the holder of a judicial office, or being a member of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, directly or indirectly, corruptly accepts, obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, for themselves or another person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by them in their official capacity, or
(b) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives or offers to a person mentioned in paragraph (a), or to anyone for the benefit of that person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by that person in their official capacity.

Consent of Attorney General
(2) No proceedings against a person who holds a judicial office shall be instituted under this section without the consent in writing of the Attorney General of Canada.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 119; 2007, c. 13, s. 3.


CCC

Bribery of officers
120. Every one is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years who

(a) being a justice, police commissioner, peace officer, public officer or officer of a juvenile court, or being employed in the administration of criminal law, directly or indirectly, corruptly accepts, obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, for themselves or another person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment with intent
(i) to interfere with the administration of justice,
(ii) to procure or facilitate the commission of an offence, or
(iii) to protect from detection or punishment a person who has committed or who intends to commit an offence; or
(b) directly or indirectly, corruptly gives or offers to a person mentioned in paragraph (a), or to anyone for the benefit of that person, any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment with intent that the person should do anything mentioned in subparagraph (a)(i), (ii) or (iii).

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 120; 2007, c. 13, s. 4.


CCC

Proof of the Offence

Proving bribery of judicial officers (recipient) under s. 119(a) should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit was "a holder of judicial office", a "member of Parliament" or member of the "legislature of a province", and
  5. "accepts, obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, for themselves or another person" a thing, # the thing is "money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment"
  6. act is done "in their official capacity"
  7. act is done "corruptly" and
  8. written consent by the Attorney General of Canada

Proving bribery of judicial officers (provider) under s. 119(b) should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit "gives or offers to a person" a thing and
  5. that recipient person is "a holder of judicial office", a "member of Parliament" or member of the "legislature of a province", or to an third party for the recipient person's benefit;
  6. the thing is "money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment"
  7. act is done "in their official capacity"
  8. act is done "corruptly" and
  9. written consent by the Attorney General of Canada

Proving bribery of officers (recipient) under s. 120(a) should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit is "a justice, police commissioner, peace officer, public officer or officer of a juvenile court, or being employed in the administration of criminal law,"
  5. the culprit "accepts, obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, for themselves or another person," a thing;
  6. he does so "corruptly"
  7. The thing is "any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment"
  8. the culprit intended
    1. "to interfere with the administration of justice,"
    2. "to procure or facilitate the commission of an offence", or
    3. "to protect from detection or punishment a person who has committed or who intends to commit an offence;"

Proving bribery of officers (provider) under s. 120(b) should include:

  1. identity of accused as culprit
  2. date and time of incident
  3. jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
  4. the culprit "gives or offers" a thing to a recipient person;
  5. the recipient person is "a justice, police commissioner, peace officer, public officer or officer of a juvenile court, or being employed in the administration of criminal law," or to an third party for the recipient person's benefit;
  6. the culprit does so "corruptly"
  7. The thing is "any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment";
  8. the culprit intended:
    1. "to interfere with the administration of justice,"
    2. "to procure or facilitate the commission of an offence", or
    3. "to protect from detection or punishment a person who has committed or who intends to commit an offence;"

Interpretation of the Offence

Section 119(2) requires the consent of the attorney general before a prosecuting a person in judicial office for bribery under s. 119.[1]

A member of cabinet is acting in his "official capacity" when he takes ministerial actions related to the administration of his department.[2]

  1. 119(2) states "No proceedings against a person who holds a judicial office shall be instituted under this section without the consent in writing of the Attorney General of Canada."
  2. Arseneau v The Queen, 1979 CanLII 216 (SCC), [1979] 2 SCR 136
    Kormos, 1998 CanLII 14958 (ON SC), at para 55

Participation of Third Parties

See also: Role of the Victim and Third Parties and Testimonial Aids for Young, Disabled or Vulnerable Witnesses

Testimonial Aids
Certain persons who testify are entitled to make application for the use of testimonial aids: Exclusion of Public (s. 486), Use of a Testimonial Screen (s. 486), Access to Support Person While Testifying (s. 486.1), Close Proximity Video-link Testimony (s. 486.2), Self-Represented Cross-Examination Prohibition Order (s. 486.3), and Witness Security Order (s. 486.7).

A witness, victim or complainant may also request publication bans (s. 486.4, 486.5) and/or a Witness Identity Non-disclosure Order (s. 486.31). See also, Publication Bans, above.

On Finding of Guilt
For any indictable offence with a maximum penalty no less than 5 years (including offences under s. 119 and 120), but are not serious personal injury offences, s. 606(4.2) requires that after accepting a guilty plea the judge must inquire whether "any of the victims had advised the prosecutor of their desire to be informed if such an agreement were entered into, and, if so, whether reasonable steps were taken to inform that victim of the agreement". Failing to take reasonable steps at guilty plea requires the prosecutor to "as soon as feasible, take reasonable steps to inform the victim of the agreement and the acceptance of the plea" (s. 606(4.3)).

Under s. 738, a judge must inquire from the Crown before sentencing whether "reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victims with an opportunity to indicate whether they are seeking restitution for their losses and damages".

Under s. 722(2), the judge must inquire "[a]s soon as feasible" before sentencing with the Crown "if reasonable steps have been taken to provide the victim with an opportunity to prepare" a victim impact statement. This will include any person "who has suffered, or is alleged to have suffered, physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss" as a result of the offence. Individuals representing a community impacted by the crime may file a statement under s. 722.2.

Sentencing Principles and Ranges

See also: Purpose and Principles of Sentencing, Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offender, and Sentencing Factors Relating to the Offence

Maximum Penalties

Offence(s) Crown
Election
Maximum Penalty
s. 119 [bribery of a judicial officer] and
s. 120 [bribery of officer, other]
N/A 14 years custody

Offences under s. 119 and 120 are straight indictable. The maximum penalty is 14 years incarceration.

Minimum Penalties
These offences have no mandatory minimum penalties.

Available Dispositions

Offence(s) Crown
Election
Discharge
s. 730
Suspended
Sentence

s. 731(1)(a)
Stand-alone
Fine

s. 731(1)(b)
Custody
s. 718.3, 787
Custody and
Probation
s. 731(1)(b)
Custody and
Fine
s. 734
Conditional
Sentence
(CSO)
s. 742.1
s. 119, 120 N/A X Mark Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png OK Symbol.png X Mark Symbol.png

If convicted under s. 119 and 120 a discharge is not available under s. 730(1) as it is "an offence for which a minimum punishment is prescribed by law or an offence punishable by imprisonment for fourteen years or for life".

Offences under s. 119 and 120 are ineligible for a conditional sentence order under s. 742.1(c), when prosecuted by indictment, as the maximum period of incarceration is 14 years or life.

A public official under s. 750 will be render ineligible to hold office.

Principles

Ranges

see also: Bribery (Sentencing Cases)

Ancillary Sentencing Orders

See also: Ancillary Orders

Offence-specific Orders

Order Conviction Description
DNA Orders s. 119 or 120

General Sentencing Orders

Order Conviction Description
Non-communication order while offender in custody (s. 743.21) any The judge has discretion to order that the offender be prohibited "from communicating...with any victim, witness or other person" while in custody except where the judge "considers [it] necessary" to communicate with them.
Restitution Orders (s. 738) any A discretionary Order is available for things such as the replacement value of the property; the pecuniary damages incurred from harm, expenses fleeing a domestic partner; or certain expenses arising from the commission of an offence under s.402.2 or 403.
Victim Fine Surcharge (s. 737) any A mandatory surcharge under s. 737 of 30% of any fine order imposed, $100 per summary conviction or $200 per indictable conviction. If offence occurs on or after October 23, 2013, the order is discretionary based on ability to pay and the minimum amounts are smaller (15%, $50, or $100).

General Forfeiture Orders

Forfeiture Conviction Description
Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime (s. 462.37(1) or (2.01)) any Where there is a finding of guilt for an indictable offence under the Code or the CDSA in which property is "proceeds of crime" and offence was "committed in relation to that property", the property shall be forfeited to Her Majesty the Queen on application of the Crown.
Fine in Lieu of Forfeiture (s. 462.37(3)) any Where a Court is satisfied an order for the forfeiture of proceeds of crime under s. 462.37(1) or (2.01) can be made, but that property cannot be "made subject to an order", then the Court "may" order a fine in "an amount equal to the value of the property". Failure to pay the fine will result in a default judgement imposing a period of incarceration.
Forfeiture of Weapons or Firearms (s. 491) any Where there is finding of guilt for an offence where a "weapon, an imitation firearm, a prohibited device, any ammunition, any prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance was used in the commission of [the] offence and that thing has been seized and detained", or "that a person has committed an offence that involves, or the subject-matter of which is, a firearm, a cross-bow, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition or an explosive substance has been seized and detained, that the item be an enumerated weapon or related item be connected to the offence", then there will be a mandatory forfeiture order. However, under s. 491(2), if the lawful owner "was not a party to the offence" and the judge has "no reasonable grounds to believe that the thing would or might be used in the commission of an offence", then it should be returned to the lawful owner.
Forfeiture of Offence-related Property (s. 490.1) any Where there is a finding of guilt for an indictable offence, "any property is offence-related property" where (a) by means or in respect of which an indictable offence under this Act or the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act is committed, (b) that is used in any manner in connection with the commission of such an offence, or (c) that is intended to be used for committing such an offence". Such property is to be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province.

History

See also: List of Criminal Code Amendments

Prior to 2007, s. 119 and 120 read:

Bribery of judicial officers, etc.
119. (1) Every one who

(a) being the holder of a judicial office, or being a member of Parliament or of the legislature of a province, corruptly
(i) accepts or obtains,
(ii) agrees to accept, or
(iii) attempts to obtain,

any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment for himself or another person in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by him in his official capacity, or

(b) gives or offers, corruptly, to a person mentioned in paragraph (a) any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment in respect of anything done or omitted or to be done or omitted by him in his official capacity for himself or another person,

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

Consent of Attorney General
(2) No proceedings against a person who holds a judicial office shall be instituted under this section without the consent in writing of the Attorney General of Canada.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 108.


CCC

Bribery of officers
120. Every one who

(a) being a justice, police commissioner, peace officer, public officer or officer of a juvenile court, or being employed in the administration of criminal law, corruptly
(i) accepts or obtains,
(ii) agrees to accept, or
(iii) attempts to obtain,

for himself or any other person any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment with intent

(iv) to interfere with the administration of justice,
(v) to procure or facilitate the commission of an offence, or
(vi) to protect from detection or punishment a person who has committed or who intends to commit an offence, or
(b) gives or offers, corruptly, to a person mentioned in paragraph (a) any money, valuable consideration, office, place or employment with intent that the person should do anything mentioned in subparagraph (a)(iv), (v) or (vi),

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
R.S., c. C-34, s. 109.


CCC

See Also

Related Offences

References