Special Jurisdiction for Offences Committed on Aircrafts or Spacecrafts

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General Principles

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

(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.


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Offences committed on aircraft
7. (1) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or any other Act, every one who

(a) on or in respect of an aircraft
(i) registered in Canada under regulations made under the Aeronautics Act, or
(ii) leased without crew and operated by a person who is qualified under regulations made under the Aeronautics Act to be registered as owner of an aircraft registered in Canada under those regulations,

while the aircraft is in flight, or

(b) on any aircraft, while the aircraft is in flight if the flight terminated in Canada,

commits an act or omission in or outside Canada that if committed in Canada would be an offence punishable by indictment shall be deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada.

Idem
(2) Notwithstanding this Act or any other Act, every one who

(a) on an aircraft, while the aircraft is in flight, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada or on an aircraft registered in Canada under regulations made under the Aeronautics Act would be an offence against section 76 or paragraph 77(a),
(b) in relation to an aircraft in service, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would be an offence against any of paragraphs 77(c), (d) or (g),
(c) in relation to an air navigation facility used in international air navigation, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would be an offence against paragraph 77(e),
(d) at or in relation to an airport serving international civil aviation, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would be an offence against paragraph 77(b) or (f), or
(e) commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would constitute a conspiracy or an attempt to commit an offence referred to in this subsection, or being an accessory after the fact or counselling in relation to such an offence,

shall be deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada if the person is, after the commission thereof, present in Canada.
...
Definitions
(2.34) The definitions in this subsection apply in this subsection and in subsections (2.3) and (2.31).
Agreement has the same meaning as in section 2 of the Civil International Space Station Agreement Implementation Act. (Accord)

Canadian crew member means a crew member of the Space Station who is

(a) a Canadian citizen; or
(b) a citizen of a foreign state, other than a Partner State, who is authorized by Canada to act as a crew member for a space flight on, or in relation to, a flight element. (membre d’équipage canadien)

crew member of a Partner State means a crew member of the Space Station who is

(a) a citizen of a Partner State; or
(b) a citizen of a state, other than that Partner State, who is authorized by that Partner State to act as a crew member for a space flight on, or in relation to, a flight element. (membre d’équipage d’un État partenaire)
flight element means a Space Station element provided by Canada or by a Partner State under the Agreement and under any memorandum of understanding or other implementing arrangement entered into to carry out the Agreement. (élément de vol)
Partner State means a State, other than Canada, who contracted to enter into the Agreement and for which the Agreement has entered into force in accordance with article 25 of the Agreement. (État partenaire)
space flight means the period that begins with the launching of a crew member of the Space Station, continues during their stay in orbit and ends with their landing on earth. (vol spatial)
Space Station means the civil international Space Station that is a multi-use facility in low-earth orbit, with flight elements and dedicated ground elements provided by, or on behalf of, the Partner States. (station spatiale)


...
Definition of flight and in flight
(8) For the purposes of this section, of the definition peace officer in section 2 and of sections 27.1, 76 and 77, flight means the act of flying or moving through the air and an aircraft is deemed to be in flight from the time when all external doors are closed following embarkation until the later of

(a) the time at which any such door is opened for the purpose of disembarkation, and
(b) where the aircraft makes a forced landing in circumstances in which the owner or operator thereof or a person acting on behalf of either of them is not in control of the aircraft, the time at which control of the aircraft is restored to the owner or operator thereof or a person acting on behalf of either of them.

Definition of in service
(9) For the purposes of this section and section 77, an aircraft shall be deemed to be in service from the time when pre-flight preparation of the aircraft by ground personnel or the crew thereof begins for a specific flight until

(a) the flight is cancelled before the aircraft is in flight,
(b) twenty-four hours after the aircraft, having commenced the flight, lands, or
(c) the aircraft, having commenced the flight, ceases to be in flight,

whichever is the latest.
...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 7; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 5, c. 10 (3rd Supp.), s. 1, c. 30 (3rd Supp.), s. 1, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F); 1992, c. 1, ss. 58, 60(F); 1993, c. 7, s. 1; 1995, c. 5, s. 25; 1997, c. 16, s. 1; 1999, c. 35, s. 11; 2000, c. 24, s. 42; 2001, c. 27, s. 244, c. 41, ss. 3, 126; 2002, c. 13, s. 3; 2004, c. 12, s. 1; 2005, c. 40, s. 2; 2012, c. 1, s. 10, c. 15, s. 1; 2013, c. 9, s. 2, c. 13, s. 3.


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Section 7(3), (3.1) also deal with offences committed on an aircraft.

Sections 7(2.3), (2.31), (2.32), (2.33), (2.34), addresses offence committed in space, including on the international space station.

A court within the jurisdiction of a terminated flight will have jurisdiction over an offence occurring on a plane.[1]

Section 7(7) requires the "consent of the Attorney General of Canada" no less "than eight days after the proceedings are commenced" to prosecute a foreign national. There is no obligation on the Crown to prove consent as an element of the offence unless challenged by defence.[2] The time limitation is calculated from the time where the "information was laid".[3]

Consent by the Attorney General of Canada can include consent by a delegate.[4]

  1. e.g. R v Vella, 2009 ONCJ 30 (CanLII)
  2. R v Minot, 2011 NLCA 7 (CanLII)
  3. Davidson v British Columbia, 2006 BCCA 447 (CanLII) at para 21
  4. Minot, supra

Spacecraft

Sections 7(2.3) and (2.31) relate to offences occurring on space stations. Both require under s. 7(2.33) consent of the Attorney General of Canada to prosecute.


s. 7
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Space Station — Canadian crew members
(2.3) Despite anything in this Act or any other Act, a Canadian crew member who, during a space flight, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would constitute an indictable offence is deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada, if that act or omission is committed

(a) on, or in relation to, a flight element of the Space Station; or
(b) on any means of transportation to or from the Space Station.

Space Station — crew members of Partner States
(2.31) Despite anything in this Act or any other Act, a crew member of a Partner State who commits an act or omission outside Canada during a space flight on, or in relation to, a flight element of the Space Station or on any means of transportation to and from the Space Station that if committed in Canada would constitute an indictable offence is deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada, if that act or omission

(a) threatens the life or security of a Canadian crew member; or
(b) is committed on or in relation to, or damages, a flight element provided by Canada.

...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 7; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 5, c. 10 (3rd Supp.), s. 1, c. 30 (3rd Supp.), s. 1, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F); 1992, c. 1, ss. 58, 60(F); 1993, c. 7, s. 1; 1995, c. 5, s. 25; 1997, c. 16, s. 1; 1999, c. 35, s. 11; 2000, c. 24, s. 42; 2001, c. 27, s. 244, c. 41, ss. 3, 126; 2002, c. 13, s. 3; 2004, c. 12, s. 1; 2005, c. 40, s. 2; 2012, c. 1, s. 10, c. 15, s. 1; 2013, c. 9, s. 2, c. 13, s. 3.


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2
...
Space Station — Canadian crew members
(2.3) Despite anything in this Act or any other Act, a Canadian crew member who, during a space flight, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would constitute an indictable offence is deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada, if that act or omission is committed

(a) on, or in relation to, a flight element of the Space Station; or
(b) on any means of transportation to or from the Space Station.

Space Station — crew members of Partner States
(2.31) Despite anything in this Act or any other Act, a crew member of a Partner State who commits an act or omission outside Canada during a space flight on, or in relation to, a flight element of the Space Station or on any means of transportation to and from the Space Station that if committed in Canada would constitute an indictable offence is deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada, if that act or omission

(a) threatens the life or security of a Canadian crew member; or
(b) is committed on or in relation to, or damages, a flight element provided by Canada.

...


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Consent of Attorney General

7 ...
Proceedings by Attorney General of Canada
(2.32) Despite the definition Attorney General in section 2, the Attorney General of Canada may conduct proceedings in relation to an offence referred to in subsection (2.3) or (2.31). For that purpose, the Attorney General of Canada may exercise all the powers and perform all the duties and functions assigned to the Attorney General by or under this Act.
Consent of Attorney General of Canada
(2.33) No proceedings in relation to an offence referred to in subsection (2.3) or (2.31) may be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General of Canada.
...
R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 7; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 5, c. 10 (3rd Supp.), s. 1, c. 30 (3rd Supp.), s. 1, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F); 1992, c. 1, ss. 58, 60(F); 1993, c. 7, s. 1; 1995, c. 5, s. 25; 1997, c. 16, s. 1; 1999, c. 35, s. 11; 2000, c. 24, s. 42; 2001, c. 27, s. 244, c. 41, ss. 3, 126; 2002, c. 13, s. 3; 2004, c. 12, s. 1; 2005, c. 40, s. 2; 2012, c. 1, s. 10, c. 15, s. 1; 2013, c. 9, s. 2, c. 13, s. 3; 2014, c. 25, s. 3.


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See Also