Taking a Vacation from the Law? Extraterritorial Criminal Jurisdiction and Section 7(4.1) of the Criminal Code
Canadian Criminal Law Review, Vol. 13, pp. 175-209, 2009
Posted: 26 Mar 2010
Date Written: June 1, 2009
Canada's extraterritorial child sex offences in section 7(4.1) of the Criminal Code are under-enforced, and have faced legal uncertainty, since coming into force in 1997. However, the recent decision of the B.C. Supreme Court in R. v. Klassen (2008) and the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Hape (2007) have opened the door for a more proactive approach to the investigation and prosecution of Canadian child sex offenders abroad.
Canada's international treaty obligations in the widely adopted UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, as well as numerous international declarations and extensive state practice, support the necessary aspects of nationality-based extraterritorial jurisdiction over crimes involving the sexual abuse and exploitation of children. This article concludes by arguing for a more aggressive use of section 7(4.1) to combat the impunity of Canadian child sex offenders abroad.
Keywords: Extraterritoriality, Criminal law, Sex offenders, Child abuse and neglect, Child pornography
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation