Vol. 147, No. 21 — October 9, 2013
SI/2013-108 October 9, 2013
NUCLEAR TERRORISM ACT
Order Fixing November 1, 2013 as the Day on which the Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2013-983 September 27, 2013
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Justice, pursuant to section 10 of the Nuclear Terrorism Act, chapter 13 of the Statutes of Canada, 2013, fixes November 1, 2013 as the day on which that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order fixes November 1, 2013, as the date of the coming into force of An Act to amend the Criminal Code, assented to on June 19, 2013, which is also known as the Nuclear Terrorism Act (the Act). This Order is made pursuant to section 10 of this Act.
The Nuclear Terrorism Act, formerly referred to as Bill S-9 in the 41st Parliament, 1st session, introduces four new indictable offences into the Criminal Code relating to nuclear terrorism.
The coming into force of these offences allows Canada to implement the criminal law requirements of the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM Amendment) and the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT). Introducing these offences in Canadian law paves the way for the ratification of these two international instruments.
Section 82.3 of the Criminal Code: This new provision criminalizes making a device or possessing, using, transferring, exporting, importing, altering or disposing of nuclear material, radioactive material or a device with intent to cause death, serious bodily harm or substantial damage to property or the environment. It also criminalizes the commission of an act against a nuclear facility or an act that causes serious interference with or serious disruption of its operations, with intent to cause death, serious bodily harm or substantial damage to property or the environment. This offence is punishable by a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Section 82.4 of the Criminal Code: This new provision criminalizes the use or alteration of nuclear material, radioactive material or a device with intent to compel a person, government or international organization to do or refrain from doing any act. It also makes it an offence to commit an act against a nuclear facility or an act that causes serious interference with or serious disruption of its operations, again with the intent to compel a person, government or international organization to do or refrain from doing any act. This offence is punishable by a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Section 82.5 of the Criminal Code: This new provision criminalizes the commission of an indictable offence with the intent to obtain nuclear or radioactive material or a nuclear or radioactive device, or to obtain access to a nuclear facility. Again, this offence is punishable by a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Section 82.6 of the Criminal Code:This new provision creates a specific offence prohibiting threats to commit any of the offences mentioned above (sections 82.3 to 82.5 of the Criminal Code). This offence is punishable by a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
Finally, the Act gives Canadian courts extraterritorial jurisdiction over these new offences in certain factual situations, for example in the case where a Canadian citizen commits an act outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute any of the above-mentioned offences [subsection 7(2.21) of the Criminal Code].
This legislation puts Canada into compliance with the criminalization requirements of two nuclear terrorism-related international instruments and will allow Canada to engage the ratification process once these amendments come into force.
On July 8, 2005, States Parties to the CPPNM adopted by consensus the CPPNM Amendment. Canada signed the original CPPNM on September 22, 1980, and ratified it on March 21, 1986. Whereas the obligations for physical protection under the 1980 CPPNM covered nuclear material during international transport, the CPPNM Amendment makes it legally binding for States Parties to protect nuclear facilities and material in respect of peaceful domestic use, storage and transport. It also provides for expanded cooperation between States Parties regarding rapid measures to locate and recover stolen or smuggled nuclear material, mitigate any radiological consequences of sabotage, and prevent and combat related offences. The CPPNM Amendment constitutes an important milestone in international efforts to improve the physical protection of nuclear material and facilities. The CPPNM Amendment will enter into force for each State Party that deposits its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval of the Amendment on the 30th day after the date on which two thirds of the States Parties have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval with the depositary.
The ICSANT was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005. The ICSANT entered into force in 2007 and Canada has signed but not yet ratified the ICSANT. The ICSANT covers a broad range of acts and possible targets, including nuclear power plants and nuclear reactors, as well as threats and attempts to commit such crimes; stipulates that offenders shall be either extradited or prosecuted; encourages States Parties to cooperate in preventing terrorist attacks by sharing information and assisting each other in connection with criminal investigations and extradition proceedings; and deals with both crisis situations (assisting States Parties to solve the situation) and post-crisis situations (rendering nuclear material safe through the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]).
At the second world leaders’ Nuclear Security Summit held in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in 2012, 53 heads of state, including the Prime Minister of Canada, recognized the importance of multilateral instruments that address nuclear security, such as the CPPNM Amendment and the ICSANT. The world leaders committed to work towards the universal adherence to the CPPNM Amendment and the ICSANT. When the legislation comes into force, Canada will be in a position to ratify these instruments and would be in a position to report this key accomplishment at the next world leaders’ Nuclear Security Summit in 2014.
Once the legislation is in force, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) will complete the necessary steps for Canada to ratify both instruments.
In developing various aspects of the legislation, consultations were held at the federal level with partners such as DFATD, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Public Prosecution Service of Canada. All partners are supportive of the measures contained in the Nuclear Terrorism Act.
Criminal Law Policy Section
Department of Justice Canada