Jurisdiction of the Courts

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General Principles

"Jurisdiction" generally refers to the legal authority or power of the court to decide an issue. [1]

It has been observed that criminal law, in contrast with civil law, is "highly territorial" and that countries should not "enforce the criminal law of other countries".[2]

Types of Jurisdiction
The three forms of jurisdiction consist of:[3]

  • prescriptive jurisdiction (also called legislative or substantive jurisdiction): The authority "to make rules, issue commands or grant authorizations that are binding upon persons and entities"
  • enforcement jurisdiction: The authority to "use coercive means to ensure that rules are followed, commands are executed or entitlements are upheld" and
  • adjudicative jurisdiction: The authority to "resolve disputes or interpret the law through decisions that carry binding force".

Issues of jurisdiction will often involve overlapping between the types of jurisdiction.[4]

Jurisdiction to Enforce Certain Rights
Before a Court can adjudicate matters including Charter rights the Court must be a "court of competent jurisdiction", which requires authority over: 1) the person(s); 2) the subject-matter; and 3) the remedy.[5]

  1. Reference re Judicature Act (1988), 46 CCC (3d) 203 (NBCA)(*no link) at p. 218
    R v Gray (1991), 68 CCC 193 (Ont.), 1991 CanLII 7130 (ON SC)
  2. Police File No. 2016-32834 (Re), 2016 BCPC 359 (CanLII) at para 7 citing Rafferty & S. Pitel, Conflicts of Law (Irwin: 2010), p. 56
  3. R v Chowdhury, 2014 ONSC 2635 (CanLII), at para 9
    R v Hape, 2007 SCC 26 (CanLII), [2007] 2 SCR 292, at para 58
  4. e.g. see Chowdhury, supra at para 10
  5. R v Mills, 1986 CanLII 17 (SCC), [1986] 1 S.C.R. 863 - considering the jurisdiction under s. 24(1) of the Charter to grant remedies

Basis and Origin of Jurisdiction

Territoriality
Traditionally in criminal matters, jurisdiction has been tied to the state based on a geographic region or territory. This is known as the "principle of territoriality".[1]

From this two principles of jurisdiction arise. There is the "objective territorial principle" of jurisdiction and the "subjective territorial principle" of jurisdiction .[2] The objective principle imposes jurisdiction over acts that either being or end within the state or in which a "constituent element" of the offence takes place within the state. The subjective principle imposes jurisdiction over actions that occur or begin within the state's territory regardless of location of the consequences.[3]

Qualified Territoriality
The traditional principle of territoriality has been extended to adapt to transnational and international activities, creating concurrent jurisdiction between nations.[4] This will normally apply in cases where the harm caused by the acts of a foreign national outside of the country are felt within Canada on the basis of the “objective territorial principle”.[5] This has also been recognized in cases involving communications between two jurisdictions.[6]

Any extension of jurisdiction should be limited by the principles of "real and substantial" connection and comity between nations.[7]

Nationality
Jurisdiction can also be derived on the basis nationality for persons acting while outside of the country.[8] At common law, it is recognized that Canada has an interest in prosecuting acts of its citizens committed outside of the country.[9]

Plenary or Universal Jurisdiction
Certain circumstances have universal jurisdiction. These are typically specific offences legislated as being prosecutable in Canada irrespective of the territoriality over the matter.[10]

Limits on Jurisdiction
Parliament has the constitutional authority to legislate jurisdiction over non-Canadians' conduct outside of the country. However, where international law is violated, such intent must do so clearly and expressly.[11]

  1. R v Libman, 1985 CanLII 51 (SCC), [1985] 2 SCR 178 at para 11
  2. R v Hape 2007 SCC 26 (CanLII) at para 59
  3. Hape, ibid. at para 59
  4. Chowdhury, supra at para 11
  5. Chowdhury, supra at para 23
  6. R v McKenzie Securities Ltd., [1966], 4 CCC 29(*no link) at para 53 ("The nature of some offences is such that the can properly be described as occurring in the more than one place. This is peculiarly the case where a transaction is carried on by mail from one territorial jurisdiction to another, or indeed by telephone from one such jurisdiction to another. This has been recognized by the common law for centuries.")
  7. Chowdhury, supra at para 11, 23
    Libman, supra at para 71, 74
  8. Chowdhury, supra at para 12
    Hape, supra at para 60
  9. Chowdhury, supra at para 23
  10. Chowdhury, supra at para 15
  11. Chowdhury, supra at paras 20 to 21
    Hape, supra

Adjudicative Jurisdiction

For a court to have "adjudicative jurisdiction" to decide a matter, the court must have jurisdiction over both the offence and the person.[1] These must be treated as distinct and separate elements.[2]

In criminal matters, the adjudicative jurisdiction is limited by section 6(2) of the Code which prohibits "extraterritorial jurisdiction".[3] It states that:

6
...
Offences outside Canada
Subject to this Act or any other Act of Parliament, no person shall be convicted or discharged under section 730 of an offence committed outside Canada.
...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 6; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 4, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F); 1995, c. 22, s. 10.


CCC

There are several statutory exceptions within the code for certain types of offences including those that occur in space, on planes, and in boats as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity.[4]

Attention should be paid to whether the province has provincial legislation that dictates the jurisdiction of the court over persons and subject matters.[5]

  1. R v Chowdhury, 2014 ONSC 2635 (CanLII), at para 13
  2. Chowdhury, supra at para 13
  3. Chowdhury at para 14
  4. Chowdhury at para 15
    see also s. 7
  5. e.g. British Columbia: Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act, SBC 2003, c 28
    Nova Scotia: Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act, SNS 2003 (2d Sess), c 2
    Saskatchewan: The Court Jurisdiction and Proceedings Transfer Act, SS 1997, c C-41.1

Principles Limiting Jurisdiction Outside of Canada

See also: Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction of the Courts

Sovereign Equality
The international principle of sovereign equality states that "[c]ountries generally respect each other’s borders and will not attempt to adjudicate matters that occurred within the borders of another sovereign country" and "countries will exercise jurisdiction over their own nationals but not over another country’s nationals except, of course, where that country’s nationals commit an offence within another country’s borders". [1]

Non-Intervention
In order to preserve sovereignty and equality, there is a related duty of "non-intervention" which gives each country the "right to be free from intrusion by other states in its affairs and the duty of every other state to refrain from interference."[2]

A country should not extend its jurisdiction to enforce "its laws when to do so would infringe on the sovereignty of another state".[3]

Comity
The principle of "comity" refers to the "informal acts performed and rules observed by states in their mutual relations out of, politeness, convenience and goodwill, rather than strict legal obligation".[4] It is not a binding rule of law, but rather more of a principle of interpretation based on the "deference and respect" that countries have for each other.[5]

In application, comity requires "that a state ought to assume jurisdiction only if it has a real and substantial link to the event".[6]

Comity creates the presumption that "Canada will, in passing legislation, act in compliance with its international obligations including treaty obligations" and that "courts will favour an interpretation of legislation that reflects the value and principles of international law".[7]

Real and Substantial Connection
At common law, the "real and substantial connection" test sets the limits on the assumption of jurisdiction by a court.[8]

Factors to consider in the test include:[9]

  1. the connection between the forum and the plaintiff’s claim;
  2. the connection between the forum and the defendant;
  3. unfairness to the defendant in assuming jurisdiction;
  4. unfairness to the plaintiff in not assuming jurisdiction.

Where the crown fails to establish a real and substantial connection there is some suggestion that the accused must be acquitted since the Crown failed to prove an essential element.[10]

Charter Rights Outside of Canada
The Courts have no jurisdiction to enforce Charter rights abroad.[11] The rights are not enforceable due to the principle of comity.[12]

  1. R v Chowdhury, supra at para 22
  2. R v Hape, supra at para 45
  3. Chowdhury, supra at para 34
  4. Hape, supra at para 47
  5. Chowdhury, supra at paras 31, 32
  6. Hape, supra at para 62
  7. Chowdhury, supra at para 32
  8. e.g. Muscutt v Courcelles, 2002 CanLII 44957 (ON CA)
  9. R v Milliea, 2008 NBPC 11 (CanLII) at para 28
  10. R v Finta, 1992 CanLII 2783 (ON CA)
  11. R. v. Harrer, 1995 CanLII 70 (SCC), [1995] 3 S.C.R. 562
    R. v. Terry, 1996 CanLII 199 (SCC), [1996] 2 S.C.R. 207
    R. v. Hape, 2007 SCC 26 (CanLII)
    R. v. Tan, 2014 BCCA 9 (CanLII)
    R v Mehan, 2017 BCCA 21 (CanLII) at para 28
  12. Hape at para 52
    Harrer, supra at para 15

Discretionary Limitations

Forum Non Conveniens
The courts have discretion to refuse to accept jurisdiction on the basis of the principle of forum non-conveniens.[1] Criteria to consider include:[2]

  1. the residence and domicile of the parties,
  2. the location of the natural forum,
  3. the location of the evidence,
  4. the place of residence of the witnesses,
  5. the location of the alleged conduct and transaction, including the place of formation and execution of the contract,
  6. the existence of an action pending in another jurisdiction between the same parties (in an imperfect lis pendens situation) and the stage of such proceeding,
  7. the law applicable to the dispute,
  8. the ability to join all parties,
  9. the need for enforcement in the alternative court,
  10. the juridical advantages for the plaintiff, and
  11. the interests of justice.
  1. Boucher v Stelco Inc. 2005 SCC 64 (CanLII) at para 37
  2. Boucher v Stelco, ibid. at para 37 to 38
    Muscutt v Courcelles, 2002 CanLII 44957 (ON CA) at para 42

Jurisdiction of Courts

See also: Election and Criminal Courts

Superior Court

A Superior Court has "inherent jurisdiction" that is derived from s. 96 of the Constitution Act, 1867. This is also referred to as “original and plenary jurisdiction”. This means that the Superior Court has jurisdiction over all civil and criminal matters unless expressly removed by statute.[1] However, the “core powers” of the superior court cannot be removed by statute without violating s.96 of the Constitution Act 1867.[2]

Section 468 of the Criminal Code, provides authority over indictable offences unless the Province of the particular Superior Court lacks a real and substantial connection to the offence itself.[3] This "inherent jurisdiction" also provides power to control the judicial process and to remedy unfairness.[4]

Section 470 states:

Jurisdiction over person
470. Subject to this Act, every superior court of criminal jurisdiction and every court of criminal jurisdiction that has power to try an indictable offence is competent to try an accused for that offence

(a) if the accused is found, is arrested or is in custody within the territorial jurisdiction of the court; or
(b) if the accused has been ordered to be tried by
(i) that court, or
(ii) any other court, the jurisdiction of which has by lawful authority been transferred to that court.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 470; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 101.


CCC

  1. MacMillan Bloedel v Simpson Ltd, 1995 CanLII 57 (SCC), [1995] 4 SCR 725
  2. See McMillan Bloedel v Simpson Ltd., ibid.
  3. section 468 states "Every superior court of criminal jurisdiction has jurisdiction to try any indictable offence. R.S., c. C-34, s. 426."
  4. R v Rose, 1998 CanLII 768 (SCC), [1998] 3 SCR 262
    R v Pilarinos, 2001 BCSC 1332 (CanLII), (2001) 158 CCC 1 (BCSC)

Provincial and Territorial Court

A Provincial or Territorial Court has jurisdiction derived by statute alone and depends on the Criminal Code for the source of its authority.[1] That authority must be explicitly provided by statute or by necessary implication.[2]

A provincial court has “authority to control the court’s process” as well others authorities derived by necessary implication. However, the authority must be exercised “according to the rules of reason and justice”[3]

Section 798 found in part XXVII of the Code [Summary Convictions] states that:

Jurisdiction
798. Every summary conviction court has jurisdiction to try, determine and adjudge proceedings to which this Part applies in the territorial division over which the person who constitutes that court has jurisdiction.


R.S., c. C-34, s. 733.


CCC

Geographic Boundaries
Provincial Court judges are limited to only exercise authority "within their territorial jurisdiction".[4]

  1. R v Doyle, 1976 CanLII 11 (SCC), [1977] 1 SCR 597
    R v SJL, 2002 BCCA 174 (CanLII), (2002), 163 CCC (3d) 560 (BCCA)
  2. R v SJL, ibid. at para 23
  3. eg. see R v Price, 2010 NBCA 84 (CanLII)
  4. Re The Queen and Smith (1974), 12 CCC (2d) 11 (N.B.C.A.) at p. 9 ("Inferior Courts can exercise their powers only within their territorial jurisdiction")
    see also Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction of the Courts

Appellate Court

An appellate court only has jurisdiction that is provide to it by statute and so can only hear appeals permitted under statute.[1]

  1. R v Kevork (1985), 21 CCC (3d) 369(*no link)

Youth Justice Court

A youth justice court refers to either a provincial court or superior court that has jurisdiction over young persons, and adult who commit offences as a young person, by virtue of s. 13 of the YCJA. This jurisdiction over young persons is exclusive.[1] While sitting as a youth justice court, the judge or justice maintains their original powers and jurisdiction.[2]

  1. s. 14 of the YCJA
  2. See s. 14(7) in reference to a superior court
    see s. 14(6) in reference to a summary conviction provincial court

Jurisdiction Over Persons

Section 470 enables both provincial and superior courts to try an accused for an indictable offence where:

  • the accused "is found, is arrested or is in custody within the territorial jurisdiction of the court" or
  • the accused "has been ordered to be tried by" the same court or any other court "the jurisdiction of which has ... been transferred to that court".

This power will be subject to limitations including those found in s.478 which prohibits prosecution of an offence occurring entirely in another province unless it is for the purpose of receiving a guilty plea in accordance with its provisions.

Charter does not apply to actions of foreign authorities acting outside of the country. [1]

  1. see "Charter Rights Outside of Canada" above

Adults

The Courts have jurisdiction over an accused by virtue of their presence in court.[1] The accused is required to be present for all indictable matters. It is because the accused must be a part of all matters of "vital interest". [2] The accused must be present at trial so as to hear the case against them.

For Summary matters the court may proceed without the presence of the accused except if liable for more than 6 months imprisonment.[3] This would include trial matters by way of an ex parte motion.[4]

The law does not recognize "conditional appearances to contest service".[5]

  1. s.470(a)
    Gordon v Canada, 1980 CanLII 373 (BC CA)
  2. R v Vezina; Cote, 1986 CanLII 93 (SCC), [1986] 1 SCR 2
  3. s. 800(2) and 802.1
  4. s. 803(2)(a)
  5. R v Sinopec Shanghai Engineering Company Ltd., 2011 ABCA 331 (CanLII)

Designations of Counsel

See also: Representation at Trial

As stated, the Courts have jurisdiction over an accused present in court. The accused may appoint counsel to represent them for any proceedings under the Criminal Code by filing a designation of counsel pursuant to s. 650.01(1). [1] Where a designation has been properly filed with the Court the accused does not need to be present for certain court appearances except for when oral evidence is being heard.[2] As such the Court will not lose jurisdiction over the accused due to his or her absence.[3] A valid designation must contain the name and address of the counsel, as well as set out the charge(s) and date(s) of alleged offences or any particulars identifying the matters, and it must be signed by the accused and designated counsel.[4]

  1. R v Golyanik (2003), 173 CCC 307 (SCJ), 2003 CanLII 64228 (ON SC)
    R v C(JJ), 2003 ABPC 31 (CanLII), (2003), 12 AtlaLR 191
    R v L(GY), 2009 CanLII 38516 (ON SC), 2009 84 WCB 341 (SCJ)
  2. s. 650.01(3)(a)
  3. For indictable offences, the Court will only have jurisdiction over the accused where they are present in court for an appearance. Otherwise, the charge will be a nullity and voidable
  4. s. 650.01(2)
    R v Butler, 2010 NSSC 284 (CanLII) - rejected designation for no listed charges

Special Classes of Persons

The Crown is generally immune from prosecutions for executive conduct unless statute otherwise directs.[1]

  1. see s. 17 of Interpretation Act

Youths

See also: Sentencing Young Offenders

Section 14 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act states this about jurisdiction:

Exclusive jurisdiction of youth justice court
14 (1) Despite any other Act of Parliament but subject to the Contraventions Act and the National Defence Act, a youth justice court has exclusive jurisdiction in respect of any offence alleged to have been committed by a person while he or she was a young person, and that person shall be dealt with as provided in this Act.


YCJA

A court cannot have jurisdiction over any person under the age of 12.[1] This date is set as of the date of the offence. [2] Offences that occur during the accused's 18th birthday will given jurisdiction to the Youth Court.[3]

A justice of the peace may carry out proceedings under the Criminal Code except for pleas, trials and adjudication. (s. 20(1)) This includes determining bail, but is reviewable by a youth court judge.(s. 33(1))

A justice of the peace may place an accused on a consent peace bond. If the accused refuses, the matter can be dealt with by a youth court judge. (s.20(2))


The YCJA creates the Youth Justice Court and the Youth Justice Court Judge under s. 13.

Where an accused who is charged as a "young person" turns 18, the Youth Justice Court still maintains jurisdiction. (s. 14(4)) Likewise, a person who is over 18 at the time of arrest will be subject to the YCJA if the incident occurred while he was a "young person" (s. 14(5)).

Justices of the Peace may perform all the same functions as a Youth Justice Court Judge except for pleas, trials, and adjudication (s. 20(1)).

  1. see s. 13 of the Criminal Code
  2. see s. 16 YCJA and R v McDonald, 1985 CanLII 162 (ON CA)
  3. see s. 16

Proving Age

The Crown has the onus to prove that the age of the accused is within the jurisdiction of the YCJA beyond a reasonable doubt.[1]

Children and Young Persons

Testimony as to date of birth
658. (1) In any proceedings to which this Act applies, the testimony of a person as to the date of his or her birth is admissible as evidence of that date.
Testimony of a parent
(2) In any proceedings to which this Act applies, the testimony of a parent as to the age of a person of whom he or she is a parent is admissible as evidence of the age of that person.
Proof of age
(3) In any proceedings to which this Act applies,

(a) a birth or baptismal certificate or a copy of such a certificate purporting to be certified under the hand of the person in whose custody the certificate is held is evidence of the age of that person; and
(b) an entry or record of an incorporated society or its officers who have had the control or care of a child or young person at or about the time the child or young person was brought to Canada is evidence of the age of the child or young person if the entry or record was made before the time when the offence is alleged to have been committed.

Other evidence
(4) In the absence of any certificate, copy, entry or record mentioned in subsection (3), or in corroboration of any such certificate, copy, entry or record, a jury, judge, justice or provincial court judge, as the case may be, may receive and act on any other information relating to age that they consider reliable.
Inference from appearance
(5) In the absence of other evidence, or by way of corroboration of other evidence, a jury, judge, justice or provincial court judge, as the case may be, may infer the age of a child or young person from his or her appearance.
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 658; 1994, c. 44, s. 64.


CCC

The age of the accused can be permitted by way of hearsay.[2]

Testimony of a parent
148 (1) In any proceedings under this Act, the testimony of a parent as to the age of a person of whom he or she is a parent is admissible as evidence of the age of that person.
Evidence of age by certificate or record
(2) In any proceedings under this Act,

(a) a birth or baptismal certificate or a copy of it purporting to be certified under the hand of the person in whose custody those records are held is evidence of the age of the person named in the certificate or copy; and
(b) an entry or record of an incorporated society that has had the control or care of the person alleged to have committed the offence in respect of which the proceedings are taken at or about the time the person came to Canada is evidence of the age of that person, if the entry or record was made before the time when the offence is alleged to have been committed.

Other evidence
(3) In the absence of any certificate, copy, entry or record mentioned in subsection (2), or in corroboration of that certificate, copy, entry or record, the youth justice court may receive and act on any other information relating to age that it considers reliable.
When age may be inferred
(4) In any proceedings under this Act, the youth justice court may draw inferences as to the age of a person from the person’s appearance or from statements made by the person in direct examination or cross-examination.


  1. See R v K.(P.A.), 1992 CarswellNfld 125 (Nfld.S.C.)(*no link) at paras 37 to 38
  2. See s. 658
    R v C.(I.), 2010 ONSC 330 (CanLII)
    R v Male, 2013 MBPC 12 (CanLII)

Persons Outside of Country

An offence by a foreign national while outside of the country will not create jurisdiction over the person to prosecute an offence. However, should the person enter into the territorial jurisdiction of the courts, jurisdiction over the person will exist.[1]

Where jurisdiction over the person does not exist. A stay may be entered on the charge until such time as the Crown applies to withdraw the stay.[2]

Breach of Canadian Court Orders
An order that prohibits the possession of a firearm, including probation, recognizance or 109/110 Order, can still apply whether or not the person is within Canada. [3]

Contact prohibitions will apply to accused’s who attempt to contact the person who is located outside the country.[4]

  1. e.g. R v Chowdhury at paras 54 to 57
  2. e.g. Chowdhury
  3. R v Rattray, 2008 ONCA 74 (CanLII) - accused bought rifle while in Michigan, no evidence of possession within Canada
    see also R v Greco, 2001 CanLII 8608 (ON CA)
  4. e.g. R v Stanny, 2008 ABQB 746 (CanLII) - accused on condition not to contact bank branches. He wrote to branch in England and was convicted of breach

Jurisdiction Over Subject Matter

Section 553 is procedural in nature and does not usurp the jurisdiction of superior court on matters that have properly been brought before it.[1]

An offence is triable in the Canadian courts so long as a "significant portion of the activities constituting the offence took place in Canada" is sufficient that there is a real and substantial connection.[2]

Where an offence occurs, in whole or in part, outside of the territorial jurisdiction of the court, the principle of comity still permits courts to take jurisdiction over the subject where there is a real and substantial connection between the territory and the offence.[3]

  1. R v Manitopyes, 2012 SKQB 141 (CanLII) at para 69
  2. R v Libman (1985), 1985 CanLII 51 (SCC), 21 CCC (3d) 206, 21 D.L.R. (4th) 174, [1985] 2 SCR 178
    see also R v Rowbotham (1988), 1988 CanLII 147 (ON CA), 41 CCC (3d)
  3. Chowdhury v H.M.Q., 2014 ONSC 2635 (CanLII) at para 26

Offences Between Jurisdictions

Special jurisdictions
476. For the purposes of this Act,
...

(b) where an offence is committed on the boundary of two or more territorial divisions or within five hundred metres of any such boundary, or the offence was commenced within one territorial division and completed within another, the offence shall be deemed to have been committed in any of the territorial divisions;
(c) where an offence is committed in or on a vehicle employed in a journey, or on board a vessel employed on a navigable river, canal or inland water, the offence shall be deemed to have been committed in any territorial division through which the vehicle or vessel passed in the course of the journey or voyage on which the offence was committed, and where the center or other part of the road, or navigable river, canal or inland water on which the vehicle or vessel passed in the course of the journey or voyage is the boundary of two or more territorial divisions, the offence shall be deemed to have been committed in any of the territorial divisions;

...

(e) where an offence is committed in respect of the mail in the course of its door-to-door delivery, the offence shall be deemed to have been committed in any territorial division through which the mail was carried on that delivery.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 476; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 186; 1992, c. 1, s. 58.


CCC

Between Territorial Divisions Within the Province
Where the offence has occurred outside regular territorial divisions, such as in an "unorganized tract of country", lake or river, then any territorial judicial district may have jurisdiction over the matter.[1]

Between Provinces
Where an ongoing offence begins in one province and ends in another province, s. 476(b) convey jurisdiction over both jurisdictions to try the case.[2]

Between International Boundaries
Courts will take jurisdiction over the subject matter of activities of persons outside of the country on the basis of qualified territoriality.[3]

Where the offence constituent elements include phone, email or other types of electronic communication over borders, typically concurrent jurisdiction will exist between the two ends.[4]

  1. see s. 480
  2. Regina v Bigelow, 1982 CanLII 2046 (ON CA) appeal to SCC refused -- offence of child abduction from Ontario to Alberta
    R v D.A.L., 1996 CanLII 8371 (BC CA) - sexual assault between accused and victim occurring in three different provinces
  3. see above re "Territoriality"
  4. e.g. R v Frank, 2013 ABPC 21 (CanLII) - harassing emails
    R v McKenzie Securities Ltd., [1966], 4 CCC 29(*no link) at para 53

Offences Occurring on Water

Inside Canadian Territory
Offences occurring within Canadian waters may be tried within "any territorial division in Canada."[1]

Special jurisdictions
476. For the purposes of this Act,

(a) where an offence is committed in or on any water or on a bridge between two or more territorial divisions, the offence shall be deemed to have been committed in any of the territorial divisions;

...

(d) where an offence is committed in an aircraft in the course of a flight of that aircraft, it shall be deemed to have been committed
(i) in the territorial division in which the flight commenced,
(ii) in any territorial division over which the aircraft passed in the course of the flight, or
(iii) in the territorial division in which the flight ended; and


...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 476; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 186; 1992, c. 1, s. 58.


CCC

Any prosecution of offences occurring "in or on the territorial sea of Canada" must be done so under conditions that require the consent of the Attorney General of Canada.[2]

There are also separate arrest, entry and search and seizure powers for offences under 477.1[3]

  1. see s. 481.1
  2. see s. 477.2 for details
  3. see s. 477.3

Outside of Territory of Canada

Offences outside of Canada
477.1 Every person who commits an act or omission that, if it occurred in Canada, would be an offence under a federal law, within the meaning of section 2 of the Oceans Act, is deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada if it is an act or omission

(a) in the exclusive economic zone of Canada that
(i) is committed by a person who is in the exclusive economic zone of Canada in connection with exploring or exploiting, conserving or managing the natural resources, whether living or non-living, of the exclusive economic zone of Canada, and
(ii) is committed by or in relation to a person who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident within the meaning of subsection 2(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act;
(b) that is committed in a place in or above the continental shelf of Canada and that is an offence in that place by virtue of section 20 of the Oceans Act;
(c) that is committed outside Canada on board or by means of a ship registered or licensed, or for which an identification number has been issued, pursuant to any Act of Parliament;
(d) that is committed outside Canada in the course of hot pursuit; or
(e) that is committed outside the territory of any state by a Canadian citizen.

1990, c. 44, s. 15; 1996, c. 31, s. 68; 2001, c. 27, s. 247.


CCC

Consent of Attorney General
Some form of charges under s. 477.1 required

Consent of Attorney General of Canada
477.2 (1) No proceedings in respect of an offence committed in or on the territorial sea of Canada shall be continued unless the consent of the Attorney General of Canada is obtained not later than eight days after the proceedings are commenced, if the accused is not a Canadian citizen and the offence is alleged to have been committed on board any ship registered outside Canada.
Exception
(1.1) Subsection (1) does not apply to proceedings by way of summary conviction.
Consent of Attorney General of Canada
(2) No proceedings in respect of which courts have jurisdiction by virtue only of paragraph 477.1(a) or (b) shall be continued unless the consent of the Attorney General of Canada is obtained not later than eight days after the proceedings are commenced, if the accused is not a Canadian citizen and the offence is alleged to have been committed on board any ship registered outside Canada.
Consent of Attorney General of Canada
(3) No proceedings in respect of which courts have jurisdiction by virtue only of paragraph 477.1(d) or (e) shall be continued unless the consent of the Attorney General of Canada is obtained not later than eight days after the proceedings are commenced.
Consent to be filed
(4) The consent of the Attorney General required by subsection (1), (2) or (3) must be filed with the clerk of the court in which the proceedings have been instituted.
1990, c. 44, s. 15; 1994, c. 44, s. 32; 1996, c. 31, s. 69.


CCC

Offences Entirely Outside of Canada

See Also