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 _alan
Joined: 3/15/2011
Msg: 1
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I was perusing an online text file of the Criminal Code of Canada & came across the term immoral a few times, but wasn't able to find a Criminal Code definition of what exactly constitutes an immoral act or behaviour in the Criminal Code of Canada.

Does such a legal definition exist in the Canadian justice/kegal system, or is it intentionally left vague & undefined to allow judges to use their own personal opinion/bias to decide?
 Belle Requin
Joined: 2/17/2007
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Posted: 4/10/2011 3:23:33 PM
Prosecutions under those sections are very very rare. Is there a definition? Probably, but I'm too busy to go looking for it. So- go to Canlii.com and search those sections of the code to see if the SCC has determined the definition, or if there appears to be a universally accepted decision that other provinces have followed.

Or, go to a library and pick up an annoted copy of the Criminal code. (Mine is at my office, I am not.)
 _alan
Joined: 3/15/2011
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Posted: 4/11/2011 10:30:00 AM
I'll check that link out & see what i can find, but I will be surprised if the term is actually defined clearly, I'm thinking it will be much like the early laws outlawing pornography without defining what exactly pornography is ( usually it was whatever the judge themself thought was pornographic and /or offensive).
 _alan
Joined: 3/15/2011
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Posted: 4/11/2011 10:44:36 AM
The only relevant passage I could find there which actually contains the term "define immoral" is:

http://canlii.com/eliisa/highlight.do?text=%22define+immoral%22&language=en&searchTitle=Search+all+CanLII+Databases&path=/en/bc/bcsc/doc/1982/1982canlii718/1982canlii718.html


[28] It has been said that the provinces may define immorality as it applies in their own jurisdiction. If so, that has been done here simply by expanding the definitions as contained in the Criminal Code, removing defences and increasing the number of ways in which the offence may be committed. But it is difficult to distinguish the by-law from the relevant criminal law.


Which is uselss, since the Criminal Code doesn't define what, exactly consitutes "immorality".

All the Criminal Code seems to say (maybe there's a secret section, only accessible to judges & prosecutors) about what's immoral is:


Immoral theatrical performance

167. (1) Every one commits an offence who, being the lessee, manager, agent or person in charge of a theatre, presents or gives or allows to be presented or given therein an immoral, indecent or obscene performance, entertainment or representation.

Person taking part

(2) Every one commits an offence who takes part or appears as an actor, a performer or an assistant in any capacity, in an immoral, indecent or obscene performance, entertainment or representation in a theatre.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 163.

Mailing obscene matter

168. (1) Every one commits an offence who makes use of the mails for the purpose of transmitting or delivering anything that is obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous.

172. (1) Every one who, in the home of a child, participates in adultery or sexual immorality or indulges in habitual drunkenness or any other form of vice, and thereby endangers the morals of the child or renders the home an unfit place for the child to be in, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.



so the term immoral pops up in the Code, but no actual definition of what immoral actually means.
 Belle Requin
Joined: 2/17/2007
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Posted: 4/29/2011 4:59:45 PM
Sigh.

I said- READ CASE LAW. You will NOT find a definition in the criminal code. You will only find it in case law. An annotated code- which you will not find for free online, as they are very expensive, would tell you what cases to look at for the definition. You would not search the terms: define immoral. It is not google.
 _alan
Joined: 3/15/2011
Msg: 6
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Posted: 4/29/2011 5:26:55 PM
My point is the criminal code has the term immoral in it, but provides no actual definition of what is to be considered immoral. Why have it in the code if a clear definition isn't included, forcing people to have to prove they haven't broken the law on a case by case basis.

The writers of the code must have been lazy or sloppy or writing it in a way to keep lawyers employed.
 Belle Requin
Joined: 2/17/2007
Msg: 7
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Posted: 5/8/2011 8:34:50 PM
the writers of the code were lazy??? You can't even be bothered to spend a little time reading case law!! Even words that are defined, still need to have their definitions defined- that's the way of the English language.

Wow. Your ignorance of the system is truly amazing.
 _alan
Joined: 3/15/2011
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Posted: 5/8/2011 9:47:37 PM

Wow. Your ignorance of the system is truly amazing.


I will admit ignorance of much of the judicial system, since I haven't studied it.

But to have passages in the criminal code that make immorality a criminal offence without having a definition of what constitutes an immoral action is asinine.

Much like the laws which existed making distribution and production of pornography a crime, but not including a concise definition of what constituted pronography. This forced the issue to be decided over a long period of time on a community by community basis, with a steady flow of appeals etc to finally arrive at a definition that is accepted.

As I stated earlier, lazy law making used to keep the lawmakers from having to make actual decisions and to keep lawyers on both sides employed in the courts hashing it out.
 UnixGrand
Joined: 5/9/2011
Msg: 9
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Posted: 6/26/2011 6:40:56 PM
Alan... You won't get a straight answer from an Attorney. Try www.justice.com You can look up case law, and code. You might have to find the Canadian alternate if you can't find what your looking for on this site.
 Belle Requin
Joined: 2/17/2007
Msg: 10
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Posted: 7/15/2011 8:24:47 PM
Actually, he was directed to the free Cdn equivalent, and he didn't bother to use it.
 _alan
Joined: 3/15/2011
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Posted: 7/15/2011 11:30:11 PM
Actually, what I wanted was the criminal code definiton of immoral, not a particular case's definition/interpretation of it.

Does such a definition exist? Yes or no?

If yes, then what is the definition?

If no, then why is it in the CC and how can someone be charged under it?

It's commonly said that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but if the law doesn't define what actually constitutes a criminal offence then the law shouldn't be in the CC until it is defined & concise. Otherwise different areas will define it differently & politicians along with others will use the vagueness of the law for their own purposes.
 UnixGrand
Joined: 5/9/2011
Msg: 12
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Posted: 7/25/2011 12:30:25 PM

Does such a definition exist? Yes or no?

If yes, then what is the definition?/


You might want to try Legal Aid if your looking for free advice. I don't think you will find any here. You can also try a Law Enforcement agent. They usually know the law pretty well.
 Belle Requin
Joined: 2/17/2007
Msg: 13
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Posted: 7/27/2011 5:16:22 PM
As a Legal Aid Lawyer, let me tell you our job is NOT to explain the law to people who are curious.

And Law Enforcement officers don't often know what the law is- that's why they're not lawyers.

The criminal code does not define immoral. The only definitions of the criminal code are in s.2, quaintly called 'definitions'.

The whole point is that a judge will then decide how to define immoral, which is why he was directed to Canlii. Canada is a COMMON-LAW jurisdiction. Stare decisis. Precedents. NO LAWYER would ever go into court to argue the definition of any legal term without referring to CASE LAW. This is the way the law of Canada works. R v. CDK- where the supreme court decided how to define a 'violent offence' as mentioned in s. 39 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. R. v. SAC- where the supreme court decided how to define 'a history of a pattern of findings of guilt' under s. 39 of the YCJA. Courts determine definitions.

The OP's questions show a COMPLETE and TOTAL ignorance of the Canadian Legal system.

If you want to learn about the law- enroll in courses.
 _alan
Joined: 3/15/2011
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Posted: 7/27/2011 5:50:44 PM

The OP's questions show a COMPLETE and TOTAL ignorance of the Canadian Legal system.


As I have stated earlier, I am ignorant of our legal system. But remember, there is a difference between being ignorant and being stupid.


If you want to learn about the law- enroll in courses.


Yeah, right.

I pose a simple question, "is there an actaul definition of "immoral" in the criminal code, and it takes until Msg 13 for Belle Requin to state "The criminal code does not define immoral" and then goes on to inmply that this is a good thing, & is why our justice system works.

Belle, using your logic ( If you want to learn about the law- enroll in courses) then should a doctor tells you they found something wrong with you & it requires surgery, you shouldn't ask the doctor "is this surgery necessary or are there other options", you should study medicine.

Btw, I didn't say I want to learn about law, I said ( asked, actually) "does the criminal code have an actual definition of what constitutes an immoral act".

From your post, it doesn't..... which appears odd; it means you can be charged with an immoral act and the code doesn't have to define that act beforehand... and I'm sure if someone were arrested & charged with an immoral act and complained that there is no deifintion of it in the CC they'd be told "ignorance of the law is no excuse".

I suppose it makes it easy for police to arrest & charge whoever they want that the government of the day suddenly decides is "undesireable".
 UnixGrand
Joined: 5/9/2011
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Posted: 7/27/2011 6:50:27 PM
As a Legal Aid Lawyer, let me tell you our job is NOT to explain the law to people who are curious.



I guess this is why lawyers call it a practice.


And Law Enforcement officers don't often know what the law is- that's why they're not lawyers.


Being a graduate with a degree in law from a reputable college in NYC, I can tell you this statement is far from the truth. I just have a conscious, and dislike deceiving people. This is why my decline of attending Georgetown Law, or Washington University was in my judgement the best move I ever made. As for law enforcement people not knowing the law.... Most of my friends are law enforcement. From local NYPD officers, court officers, and gold shield detectives, to FBI agents. They all know the law. It's the lawyers that take the bad guys out of jail, and put them on the street.
 Belle Requin
Joined: 2/17/2007
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Posted: 7/28/2011 2:03:18 PM

Being a graduate with a degree in law from a reputable college in NYC, I can tell you this statement is far from the truth. I just have a conscious, and dislike deceiving people. This is why my decline of attending Georgetown Law, or Washington University was in my judgement the best move I ever made. As for law enforcement people not knowing the law.... Most of my friends are law enforcement. From local NYPD officers, court officers, and gold shield detectives, to FBI agents. They all know the law. It's the lawyers that take the bad guys out of jail, and put them on the street.
Well clearly, your opinion is unbiased

Lots of times those 'bad guys' get out of jail specifically because a law enforcement officer screwed it up. Lawyers go to law school for at least three years, and have to pass some form of examination on the law to become lawyers- how much training do police officers get? And exactly how could YOU an American, have any idea what either Cdn lawyers or Cdn law enforcement officers do or learn? I can tell you the RCMP get very little training on the law- sadly very little on search and seizure, or the very important difference between arrest and detention. As to the varying city police departments, I can't say. I know most of them have no pre-requisite courses in either criminology, sociology, the law, or any such thing. My buddy just got a job with WPD- his education was only for being an English and PhysEd teacher.

Lawyers don't deceive people- there's no code of ethics for any law society permitting that. And it is absolutely my conscious that makes me fight damn hard and makes me good at my job as well. Suggesting you didn't want to become a lawyer because you 'have a conscious, and dislike deceiving people' is either dishonest, ignorant, or potentially both.
 Belle Requin
Joined: 2/17/2007
Msg: 17
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Posted: 7/28/2011 2:10:20 PM

Belle, using your logic ( If you want to learn about the law- enroll in courses) then should a doctor tells you they found something wrong with you & it requires surgery, you shouldn't ask the doctor "is this surgery necessary or are there other options", you should study medicine.
No- your logic is inherently flawed. See, someone is PAYING that doctor to do their job. As a Manitoban, it would be your gov't paying. So explaining the medical options and consequences etc., would be part of the doctor's job. Giving out free legal instruction and advice *to those who are merely curious* isn't anyone's job as far as I know. So- you want information, look it up where you were instructed to, or take a course, but quit complaining that you're not getting the answer you want. You can EASILY look up the criminal code online, and control +F allows you to search a word- such as immoral! Novel concept no doubt.


which appears odd; it means you can be charged with an immoral act and the code doesn't have to define that act beforehand... and I'm sure if someone were arrested & charged with an immoral act and complained that there is no deifintion of it in the CC they'd be told "ignorance of the law is no excuse".
So ignorant. And so presumptuous. See, it's one thing to be ignorant and search answers- another thing to be ignorant and cast judgment before seeking to correct that ignorance. Your statement is based upon erroneous assumptions that I won't waste my time correcting.
 _alan
Joined: 3/15/2011
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Posted: 7/28/2011 3:29:30 PM

Giving out free legal instruction and advice *to those who are merely curious* isn't anyone's job as far as I know


Which is why I asked the question here, rather than expecting I can make an appointment with a law office & go there & ask with no expectation of having to pay.

I asked here, & members can ignore the question, answer the question ( even if their answer is "I don't know" ) or simply post thei opinion.


but quit complaining that you're not getting the answer you want.


None of my responses were complaints I wasn't getting the answer I wanted; my repsonses were asking for further clarification or stating my opinion on the CC's failure to define something you can be charged with.

Perhaps your opinion of yourself is so high that you think anyone who doesn't automatically agree with you unquestioningly is complaining; I can't help you with that.


Your statement is based upon erroneous assumptions that I won't waste my time correcting.


A strange statement, since you will clearly "waste your time" reading my statements then waste more of your time posting a message & telling me it'd be a waste of your time to correct my statements. LOL


You can EASILY look up the criminal code online, and control +F allows you to search a word- such as immoral!


Which is the whole point of this thread, the criminal code DOESN'T define the term immoral.

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/Search/Search.aspx?txtS3archA11=immoral&txtT1tl3=%22Criminal+Code%22&h1ts0n1y=0&ddC0nt3ntTyp3=Acts


Immoral theatrical performance

167. (1) Every one commits an offence who, being the lessee, manager, agent or person in charge of a theatre, presents or gives or allows to be presented or given therein an immoral, indecent or obscene performance, entertainment or representation.

Person taking part

(2) Every one commits an offence who takes part or appears as an actor, a performer or an assistant in any capacity, in an immoral, indecent or obscene performance, entertainment or representation in a theatre.

Mailing obscene matter

168. (1) Every one commits an offence who makes use of the mails for the purpose of transmitting or delivering anything that is obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous.

Corrupting children

172. (1) Every one who, in the home of a child, participates in adultery or sexual immorality or indulges in habitual drunkenness or any other form of vice, and thereby endangers the morals of the child or renders the home an unfit place for the child to be in, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.


The CC uses the word several times, but doesn't define the word.

Look at 172 (1): Every one who, in the home of a child, participates in adultery or sexual immorality...

but doesn't define sexual immorality. This omission means that theoreticaly a judge could deem oral or anal sex ( even if between a husband & wife) as immoral & endangering a child (living in the home but not even witnessing the act) and imprison them for 2 years.
 _alan
Joined: 3/15/2011
Msg: 19
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Posted: 7/28/2011 4:01:20 PM
Curious, in an earlier posting here ( Msg 5) you stated:


You will NOT find a definition in the criminal code. You will only find it in case law.


Then you state in Msg 17 :


can EASILY look up the criminal code online, and control +F allows you to search a word- such as immoral!


So which of your posts did you want to stand by?

Msg 5 ( will not find a definition in the CC) or Msg 17 (can easily look up the CC & search a word)?

Apparently you have missed the entire point of this thread, I had already stated earlier that in the CC you can find the word immoral BUT the CC doesn't appear to define the term.
 UnixGrand
Joined: 5/9/2011
Msg: 20
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Posted: 7/29/2011 12:56:00 PM
Suggesting you didn't want to become a lawyer because you 'have a conscious, and dislike deceiving people' is either dishonest, ignorant, or potentially both.


With a statement like this, I would only ascertain that your litigation skills might be lacking. No harm, no foul.
 haywiresue
Joined: 9/27/2006
Msg: 21
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Posted: 7/29/2011 3:51:08 PM
I found the following information on the Vancouver Community College website out of their Multilingual Legal Glossery.

Term "immoral"

Language "English"

Plain Language Definition "not following accepted rules and standards of behaviour"
Context/Example " Her grandmother told her that when she was young, people thought you were *immoral* if you lived with your boyfriend before you got married."

Related words "bad, wicked, profligate"

IMO in law this is a "grey area" that can be argued in a positive or negative way, and thats why lawyers make the big bucks.........
 Belle Requin
Joined: 2/17/2007
Msg: 22
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Posted: 8/12/2011 5:35:35 PM
So which of your posts did you want to stand by?
Given your clear lack of reading comprehension, it's no wonder you haven't done anything to actually find the answer to your question.

Had you searched the criminal code, you would have clearly noted that 'immoral' is not defined. Then, you would have had to look at case law to see what if any definition the courts had chosen to use.

You've missed the entire point- I've told you where to get your answers, I've told you why, you still want to create absurd tautological arguments.


With a statement like this, I would only ascertain that your litigation skills might be lacking.
In fact, litigation skills are half what you say, and half how you say it- though as you've never actually practiced law, I'm sure you wouldn't have realised this yet. Lawyers aren't allowed to be deceptive or dishonest- so the most likely explanations are either that you're ignorant of what is actually required or permitted from lawyers, or you're lying as to why you 'decided' not to be one. And that being said, my litigation skills are pretty damn good.
 _alan
Joined: 3/15/2011
Msg: 23
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Posted: 8/12/2011 6:35:55 PM

Given your clear lack of reading comprehension, it's no wonder you haven't done anything to actually find the answer to your question.

Had you searched the criminal code, you would have clearly noted that 'immoral' is not defined.


Given your clear lack of reading comprehension, it's no wonder you haven't noticed that in the original post beginning this thread, and in messages # 4, 8, & 18 I stated that I HAD searched the criminal code & noted that the term immoral isn't defined.

Which is the whole point of this thread in the first place, the fact that you can be charged under the criminal code for a criminal offence that the code won't define.

Using this sort of lazy/incompetent systemology, they could add another section to the criminal code stating that anyone found guilty of zerbinizing can be sentenced to prison for not less than a period of ten years, then leave the definition of zerbinizing open to interpretation.


You've missed the entire point- I've told you where to get your answers, I've told you why, you still want to create absurd tautological arguments.


No, the entire point is the CC has terms in it that aren't defined, leaving it open to abuse.

What, you don't like anyone but lawyers to create absurd tautological arguments? This is a discussion thread, not a law class.
 Belle Requin
Joined: 2/17/2007
Msg: 24
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Posted: 8/14/2011 1:09:43 PM

This is a discussion thread, not a law class.
And yet the question was for lawyers. At least it's nice to know you're admitting to wanting to continue on in ignorance instead of actually learning the answer to your question.


No, the entire point is the CC has terms in it that aren't defined, leaving it open to abuse.
Again- a complete lack of any awareness, knowledge, or comprehension as to how the system works. So you get charged- whoopty do. That's when a judge gets to determine (according to legal principles you haven't bothered to look at) if what you did was immoral. Had you gone looking for case law, it would have been laid out for you. But noooooooooooooooooooo, you've determined that there is a problem and are unwilling to learn that what you think is a problem, is a complete figment of your imagination.
 _alan
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Posted: 8/14/2011 7:50:14 PM

Had you gone looking for case law, it would have been laid out for you. But noooooooooooooooooooo, you've determined that there is a problem and are unwilling to learn that what you think is a problem, is a complete figment of your imagination.


If I had gone loking in case law? The OP was


perusing an online text file of the Criminal Code of Canada & came across the term immoral a few times, but wasn't able to find a Criminal Code definition of what exactly constitutes an immoral act or behaviour in the Criminal Code of Canada.

Does such a legal definition exist in the Canadian justice/kegal system, or is it intentionally left vague & undefined to allow judges to use their own personal opinion/bias to decide?


According to you, the answers are:

1) No, the Criminal Code does not have a definition of what constitutes an immoral act

2) this is decided on a case by case basis & various definitions can be found in case law ( which would seem to suggest that perhaps it would allow judges to use their own personal opinion/bias to decide?).

The question "does the CC itself provide a defintion of the term" seems to have been ansewered, but knowing this does not mean people posting here can't present their opinion of this seeming lack in the CC.

Evereyone is entitled to their own opinion and has a right to present that opinion, freedom of speech is one of the advantages of living in a democracy.

I am not disputing your facts, I'm presenting an opinion that the facts appear to demonstrate a flaw in the system.... or are you of the opinion that the Criminal Code & Justice system in their current minifestation are perfect & so can have no flaws?
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