Canadian Criminal Law/Jurisdiction and Time

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Introduction[edit]

The elements of jurisdiction and time are essential elements for all offences that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. While they are usually trivial to the case as a whole, they are still necessary in any case.

These elements establish that the court has both geographic and temporal authority over the matter and that the evidence is specific enough to meet the described offence found in the charging document--the information or indictment.

Jurisdiction[edit]

The charging document will state a geographic region in which the alleged offence is to said to have been committed. For the court to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that it has authority over the matter, there must be evidence establishing that the offence alleged "occurred" in a specific county/region and province.

In a simple case, this can be accomplished by having the eye-witness to the offence or the investigating officer testify to their presence in the county, region, and province at the time of their investigations or observations.

See: Canadian Criminal Procedure and Practice/Jurisdiction and Election#Jurisdiction

Time[edit]

The charging document will state a specific date or range of dates in which the offence is said to have occurred. For the court to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the offence occurred within the specific date(s), there must be evidence establishing the date. Since the charging documents never get so specific as mentioning the actual time, in terms of hours and minutes, of the alleged offence, it is not required to be that specific.

In a simple case, this can be accomplished by having the eye-witness to the offence or the investigating officer testify to the date and time of their investigations or observations.