Chapter 11 - Judicial Action

11.1 Judicial Action

Judicial action is available only for the seven hybrid offences under subsection 7.3(1) of the Aeronautics Act and the non-designated provisions of the CARs. Depending on the seriousness of the contravention, certain hybrid offences listed under subsection 7.3(1) of the Aeronautics Act may be prosecuted by indictment or by way of summary conviction. Non-designated provisions are prosecuted by way of summary conviction.

11.2 Policy for Selection of Judicial Action

Where a person contravenes a non-designated provision, the RMAE must determine whether to administratively suspend a CAD or to initiate judicial action. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has the final decision on whether or not to prosecute. However, three classes of criteria shall be considered in all cases where judicial action is being contemplated.

11.2.1 Judicial action is mandatory where the alleged offender does not hold a CAD and wilfully does any act or thing in respect of which a CAD is required.

11.2.2 Judicial action is recommended where

  1. in the opinion of the RMAE, the offence committed by an air operator is such that a penalty of up to $25 000 should be sought in a court prosecution by way of summary conviction (fines on a prosecution by indictment could conceivably be greater);
  2. the case has been initiated or conducted by the RCMP, and it is mutually agreed that judicial action is appropriate; or
  3. the alleged offender has committed one of the hybrid offences.

11.2.3 Judicial action may be considered where

  1. in the opinion of the RMAE, a suspension would not provide a sufficient deterrent (e.g., the alleged offender has an extensive history of violating the regulations and previous administrative sanctions have not been effective in deterring non-compliance);
  2. the nature and magnitude of the offence requires court prosecution and national publicity; or
  3. the alleged offender has a non-compliant attitude.

The decision of the responsible manager to initiate prosecution should be based on the factors listed above and the recommendations of the regional DOJ counsel; the investigator; and the Director, Regulatory Services; or the RDCA.

11.3 Liaison with DOJ / Attorney General

Advice on case specifics, such as particular charges, should be obtained by the RMAE from the DOJ Regional office. The RMAE shall be the formal liaison office with the DOJ and shall keep the DOJ informed of all essential developments in the case as they occur. The DOJ has made it clear that once a case is turned over to Crown Counsel, it becomes the responsibility of DOJ employees. Communication with a Transport Canada office is strictly at the discretion of Crown Counsel.

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