Criminal Breach of trust in Canada

Section 122 of the Canadian Criminal Code creates the offence of breach of trust. It provides:

Every official who , in connection with the duties of his office, commits fraud or a breach of trust is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, whether or not the fraud or breach of trust would be an offence if it were committed in relation to a private person.

The five elements of s.122 are as follows:

1. The accused is an official;

2. The accused was acting in connection with the duties of his or her office;

3. The accused breached the standard of responsibility and conduct demanded of him or her by the nature of the office;

4. The conduct of the accused represented a serious and marked departure from the standards expected of an individual in the accused’s position of public trust; and

5. The accused acted with the intention to use his or her public office for a purpose other than the public good, for example, for a dishonest, partial, corrupt, or oppressive purpose. *

William Poulos, Barrister

* This blog is not a substitute for legal advice. Should you require legal advice , a lawyer should be consulted to advise on the specific circumstances of your case.

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