Citizen’s Arrest and Self-defence Act (S.C. 2012, c. 9)

Assented to 2012-06-28

Citizen’s Arrest and Self-defence Act

S.C. 2012, c. 9

Assented to 2012-06-28

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (citizen’s arrest and the defences of property and persons)

SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to enable a person who owns or has lawful possession of property, or persons authorized by them, to arrest within a reasonable time a person whom they find committing a criminal offence on or in relation to that property. It also amends the Criminal Code to simplify the provisions relating to the defences of property and persons.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Citizen’s Arrest and Self-defence Act.

R.S., c. C-46CRIMINAL CODE

Marginal note:1992, c. 1, s. 60 (Sch. I, s. 20)(F)

 Sections 34 to 42 of the Criminal Code are replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Defence — use or threat of force
  • 34. (1) A person is not guilty of an offence if

    • (a) they believe on reasonable grounds that force is being used against them or another person or that a threat of force is being made against them or another person;

    • (b) the act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from that use or threat of force; and

    • (c) the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Factors

    (2) In determining whether the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances, the court shall consider the relevant circumstances of the person, the other parties and the act, including, but not limited to, the following factors:

    • (a) the nature of the force or threat;

    • (b) the extent to which the use of force was imminent and whether there were other means available to respond to the potential use of force;

    • (c) the person’s role in the incident;

    • (d) whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon;

    • (e) the size, age, gender and physical capabilities of the parties to the incident;

    • (f) the nature, duration and history of any relationship between the parties to the incident, including any prior use or threat of force and the nature of that force or threat;

    • (f.1) any history of interaction or communication between the parties to the incident;

    • (g) the nature and proportionality of the person’s response to the use or threat of force; and

    • (h) whether the act committed was in response to a use or threat of force that the person knew was lawful.

  • Marginal note:No defence

    (3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the force is used or threatened by another person for the purpose of doing something that they are required or authorized by law to do in the administration or enforcement of the law, unless the person who commits the act that constitutes the offence believes on reasonable grounds that the other person is acting unlawfully.

Defence of Property

Marginal note:Defence  —property
  • 35. (1) A person is not guilty of an offence if

    • (a) they either believe on reasonable grounds that they are in peaceable possession of property or are acting under the authority of, or lawfully assisting, a person whom they believe on reasonable grounds is in peaceable possession of property;

    • (b) they believe on reasonable grounds that another person

      • (i) is about to enter, is entering or has entered the property without being entitled by law to do so,

      • (ii) is about to take the property, is doing so or has just done so, or

      • (iii) is about to damage or destroy the property, or make it inoperative, or is doing so;

    • (c) the act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of

      • (i) preventing the other person from entering the property, or removing that person from the property, or

      • (ii) preventing the other person from taking, damaging or destroying the property or from making it inoperative, or retaking the property from that person; and

    • (d) the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:No defence

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the person who believes on reasonable grounds that they are, or who is believed on reasonable grounds to be, in peaceable possession of the property does not have a claim of right to it and the other person is entitled to its possession by law.

  • Marginal note:No defence

    (3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the other person is doing something that they are required or authorized by law to do in the administration or enforcement of the law, unless the person who commits the act that constitutes the offence believes on reasonable grounds that the other person is acting unlawfully.

  •  (1) Subsection 494(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Arrest by owner, etc., of property

      (2) The owner or a person in lawful possession of property, or a person authorized by the owner or by a person in lawful possession of property, may arrest a person without a warrant if they find them committing a criminal offence on or in relation to that property and

      • (a) they make the arrest at that time; or

      • (b) they make the arrest within a reasonable time after the offence is committed and they believe on reasonable grounds that it is not feasible in the circumstances for a peace officer to make the arrest.

  • (2) Section 494 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (3):

    • Marginal note:For greater certainty

      (4) For greater certainty, a person who is authorized to make an arrest under this section is a person who is authorized by law to do so for the purposes of section 25.

COMING INTO FORCE

Marginal note:Order in council

 The provisions of this Act come into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.