[Stuart O’Connell is a lawyer and head of O’Connell Law Group, a Toronto-based law firm which focuses on defence-side criminal and civil litigation, privacy law, and victim rights. He also regularly works in association with Donich Law Professional Corporation]
A Criminal Code peace bond is an instrument of preventative justice. Specifically, it is an order from a judge to keep the peace, be of good behaviour and abide by certain conditions. A peace bond may be ordered where the judge is satisfied on the evidence that an informant has reasonable grounds to fear that the defendant will cause harm to another person. [FN1]
The Criminal Code’s judicial interim release (“JIR”) provisions, commonly referred to as the bail provisions, are found in Part XVI of the Criminal Code: “Compelling Appearance of Accused Before a Justice and Interim Release”.
The JIR provisions require a judge to release an accused person pending trial without conditions unless the Crown can demonstrate why some more restrictive measure is necessary (for example, an order to abide by interim conditions, or pre-trial custody).
These JIR provisions apply, with necessary modifications, to all Criminal Code peace bond proceedings.
R, v. Penunsi, 2019 SCC 39, at para. 1.
Instead of reproducing the JIR procedures of Part XVI in the peace bond provisions of the Criminal Code, Parliament has chosen to apply the relevant provisions regarding compelling attendance to the peace bond scheme via a series of incorporating provisions: sections 810.2(8), 810(5), and 795. [FN2]
When applying Part XVI to peace bond proceedings, any variation of “accused charged with an offence” is to be substituted with an appropriate variation of “defendant named in a peace bond Information”. [FN3]
One consequence of the JIR provisions applying to the peace bond scheme is that a judge or justice of the peace has jurisdiction to subject a person to a show cause hearing when he or she has been arrested in relation to a peace bond Information and brought before the court.
R, v. Penunsi, 2019 SCC 39, at para. 86.
[FN2] Sections 810.2(8), 810(5), and 795 operate together to incorporate the provisions of Part XVI (which houses, inter alia, the summons, arrest, and JIR provisions) into Part XXVII (“Summary Convictions”) which houses, inter alia, the peace bond provisions.
[FN3] For other necessary textual modifications to sections 507 and 515, see R. v. Penunsi, at para. 53.