Canada Strengthens Sexual Offender Registry and Complies with Supreme Court Judgment

Canada Strengthens Sexual Offender Registry and Complies with Supreme Court Judgment

Canada’s amendment to the Sexual Offender Information and Registration Act (SOIGA) has received Royal Assent, officially becoming law. The amendment aims to strengthen the enforcement of the national sexual offender registry and comply with a Supreme Court judgment regarding the violation of sexual offenders’ rights to liberty.

The amendment expands the coverage of the Criminal Code, allowing more sexual crimes to serve as the basis for court orders. Offenders involved in non-consensual distribution of intimate images can now be included in the registration order. Additionally, sexual offenders residing outside of Canada are required to provide more information to the police regarding their convictions and contact details. Registered offenders must also provide a 14-day notice prior to their travel.

To enhance enforcement, the amendment introduces a new arrest warrant scheme, empowering peace officers to apprehend suspects believed to have failed to comply with the SOIGA.

In compliance with the Supreme Court judgment, the amendment limits mandatory registration to particularly serious or repeat sexual offenses. Mandatory registration obligations now apply only to child-related sexual offenders and repeat sexual offenders. Other sexual offenders still face a presumption of registration, but the courts have the discretion to consider the order’s proportionality and its connection to aiding police in preventing or investigating sexual offenses.

Lifetime registration is now restricted to multiple and repeat offenders. Notable amendments have also been made to publication bans, ensuring the protection of victims and witnesses. The court is now obligated to inform victims and underage witnesses of their right to apply for publication bans, modify them, or revoke them. The Crown also has a duty to consult with witnesses and victims who wish to be subject to a publication ban.

This amendment seeks to address the constitutional concerns raised by the Supreme Court while strengthening the effectiveness of the sexual offender registry in Canada.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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