What You Need to Know About Canada’s National Sex Offender Registry

The Canadian government is currently debating making several revisions to the country’s National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR).

The government faces an October 28th deadline to enact revisions or risk the Canadian judiciary’s ability to add newly convicted sex offenders to the registry. Canada’s Supreme Court imposed the deadline last year after ruling that two of NSOR’s provisions are unconstitutional.

Canadian Sex Offender Registry Background

NSOR was established under the 2004 Sex Offender Information Registration Act, on recommendations provided by an inquest held in 1992 after an 11-year-old Brampton, Ontario boy was kidnapped, sexually assaulted over a 24-hour period, and killed by a convicted pedophile. The inquest was held because of the fact that the suspect was on statutory release, had an extensive record of sexually assaulting children, and had not yet been declared a dangerous offender.

Among the 71 recommendations made by the inquest was the need to create a national registry of convicted, high-risk sex offenders in order to provide law enforcement officers with rapid access to their location and identifying information. This inquest determined that a sex offender registry may have saved the Brampton victim’s life, as police may have been able to question the offender while the boy was still alive.

How NSOR Works

NSOR is a database of convicted sex offenders that any Canadian law enforcement agency can access to prevent and investigate sexual offences. Managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the database is publicly unavailable, and while there have been petitions and some push by provinces to open the data to the public, such access is not currently part of the legislation undergoing Parliamentary debate.

Police agencies can access this registry to identify potential suspects when investigating sexual crimes. The database also makes it easier for police to monitor convicted sex offenders in order to ensure that they are complying with court-ordered mandates.

NSOR Reporting Requirements

Those ordered by the courts to register under NSOR must report to their local police jurisdiction within seven days of completing any imprisonment, or after conviction if not sentenced to incarceration.

When registering, convicted offenders must provide police with more than 80 pieces of personal information, including:

  • Name
  • Residential address
  • Other addresses, if applicable
  • Telephone numbers
  • Copies of valid identification
  • Physical description of height, weight, build, gender, race, scars, tattoos, and distinguishing features
  • Details about the commission of the sexual offence they were convicted of
  • Current photographs
  • Employment and/or education details
  • Vehicle ownership and use details, including registration and license numbers
  • Passport information

NSOR registrants must report to the police annually to reconfirm this information, or provide revised information accordingly. They must also notify police within seven days if they move or make other significant lifetime changes.

Offenders must comply with NSOR reporting requirements for a minimum of 10 years, and are currently required to remain registered for life. Some offenders must also pre-report any travel away from home that lasts more than one week.

Failure to comply with NSOR reporting requirements carries penalties of up to a $10,000 fine or two years’ imprisonment. For their part, police have the right to visit NSOR registrants at any time to confirm that they are still living at their reported address.

Who is Required to Register Under NSOR?

Canada’s Criminal Code designates 27 sex offences that require mandatory NSOR registration upon conviction. These include all sexual crimes involving children, all forms of sexual assault, sexual interference, sexual exploitation, bestiality, and incest.

The Criminal Code also allows judges to order NSOR registration for those convicted of 17 other criminal offences if the crime was committed in relation to any of these aforementioned 27 designated sexual offences – for example, if you are convicted of voyeurism and the prosecution proves you were planning to commit sexual assault or another sex-related crime, the judge can order registration.

Impending Revisions to NSOR

In the October 2022 decision R. v. Ndhlovu 2022 SCC 38, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that two Criminal Code provisions requiring “mandatory” NSOR registration violate Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and that mandatory registration based on violation and mandatory lifetime registration are both unconstitutional.

The court’s ruling immediately nullified the mandatory lifetime NSOR registration requirement, providing the government with a year to revise how courts should determine which offenders should be required to register. In response, the government introduced and is currently debating Bill S-12 – along with bringing NSOR in compliance with the Charter, the legislation includes several amendments designed to “improve the operation and effectiveness of the sex offender registration regime.”

In order to address the currently unconstitutional elements of NSOR, the bill limits mandatory registration to include only two circumstances: sexual offences against a child, and repeat sexual offences by an offender previously convicted of a designated crime subject to NSOR registration.

In all other situations, judges would have the discretion to decide whether or not an offender must register. Judges would also have the option to order mandatory lifetime registration in cases where previously convicted offenders demonstrate a pattern that suggests an increased risk of re-offending. Other measures in the bill include:

  • Additional designated offences, including non-consensual distribution of intimate images, that may subject an offender to NSOR.
  • Enhanced notification obligations of NSOR registrants planning to travel.
  • New penalties for providing misleading information in NSOR reporting.
  • Greater ease in interagency NSOR information disclosure to verify sex offender compliance with reporting obligations.

NSOR Inclusion Will Hinge on Judicial Discretion

With broad bipartisan support, the government is in fact expected to enact Bill S-12 into law, and besides the continued mandatory sex offender registry for those convicted of sexual offences against children and repeat offenders, the decision to add a convicted sexual offender will rest with the sentencing judge.

Supporters of these NSOR revisions believe this makes the sex offender registry fairer, as not every convicted sex offender is at risk of re-offending.

Anyone facing criminal sexual offence charges in Ontario, regardless of the specifics of their case, should secure the services of a skilled criminal defence lawyer to help them attain a better outcome. At Vilkhov Law, our team of experienced legal professionals is here for you. Contact us for a free and confidential consultation about your case.

By |2023-10-21T19:23:01+00:00October 30th, 2023|Sexual Assault|

5/5 - (2 votes)

Criminal Lawyers Association
Toronnto Lawyers Association
Law Society of Ontario
Criminal Lawyers Association
Toronnto Lawyers Association
Law Society of Ontario
Excellent5.0 Based on 120 reviews fromBrandon ABrandon A ★★★★★ Igor was fantastic to work with. He was always very quick to respond and answered any questions I had at any time during the process. I'm so impressed for his amazing and efficient work - he was able to have any charges against me dropped. I highly recommend Igor to anybody that's currently facing legal trouble. He truly exceeded my expectations and I'm so grateful for everything. Thank you Igor!Anoop RAnoop R ★★★★★ One of the best law firms in town! Highly recommended.ARRARR ★★★★★ I was falsely accused and charged with a serious offence. All it took was just one phone call from the complainant. As an immigrant, it was a nightmare. Fortunately Igor was the first person whom I contacted and I knew he was the one and I retained him. Beware of the lawyers who try to scare you, make you feel insecure. From the first phone call, he never made me feel insecure. He was confident that he can get the work done. Igor and Daniel promptly attended all my court dates. It took a while to achieve the resolution and finally my case was unconditionally withdrawn. I can't thank him enough. As Igor is a busy person, I was getting updates regularly from Daniel. I would give six stars to Daniel. Igor should never let him go. I would definitely recommend this law firm. You might sometimes feel that Igor is late in responding, but he'll be putting all his efforts behind the scene. Just have faith in him. I wish Igor and Daniel all the best.Maria AgasMaria Agas ★★★★★ I was very impressed with his professionalism, swift responses and attention to detail. He was proactive and always communicated next steps. I’m so happy we came across Igor and his team. Igor is amazing and wonderful lawyer.Cindy LiCindy Li ★★★★★ I cannot express my gratitude enough for the exceptional legal representation provided by Igor. Facing wrongful accusations was a harrowing experience, but Igor's expertise and dedication swiftly turned the tide in my favor. He navigated the complexities of the case with professionalism, demonstrating remarkable intelligence and a deep understanding of the legal system. Thanks to his efforts, the charges were withdrawn in a timely manner, allowing me to move forward with my life. Igor is not just a good lawyer; he is an outstanding advocate for his clients. I wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of top-notch legal assistance.George ArellanoGeorge Arellano ★★★★★ Mr. Vilkhov got my charges withdrawn today after a very stressful time in my life. I hired him because of his reviews and I am not surprised that I got this result. I appreciate him and his team. Igor literally dedicates his entire life for his clients.Latch RamoutarLatch Ramoutar ★★★★★ I am sitting here at 10 Armoury street after my charges were just withdrawn. I cannot thank Igor enough for what he has done for me. This was supposed to be a trial where I was facing a ten year jail sentence. Somehow Igor got my charges dropped. This man is the lawyer you need, hands down. Also a very nice person.Emad MEmad M ★★★★★ Do not blink! Go with him.I know for stressful this process might be an how awful law system might be treating you, also how difficult it might be to trust someone with your “life”.Igor knows what he is doing and he saved my partner and I from false accusations of a jealous individual!He didn’t over charge, he didn’t hold back on any help a lawyer could possibly provide.This man is the best saviour one can ask for in these situations.Christa DuchenoChrista Ducheno ★★★★★ No kidding, if you need an attorney and You want the Best lawyer to defend you and your rights in the legal system I’d definitely recommend you call Igor Vilkhov.I am completely and gratefully satisfied with His professional guidance, knowledge of the complex legal system and most of all for saving my life. I give Igor and his Team my hands heart shout out Thank You for your dedication, I couldn’t have gotten through it without Y’all.Stephanie SchembriStephanie Schembri ★★★★★ Mr.Vilkhov thank you for keeping our family together we are forever gratefulAndreyAndrey ★★★★★ Highly recommend. Fast and reasonableRajveer SinghRajveer Singh ★★★★★ WaheguruAlyssa TolentinoAlyssa Tolentino ★★★★★ Igor is an incredibly professional, yet empathetic lawyer — I retained his services for charges laid against someone close to me, and would make that decision time and time again! He pays attention to every detail, and will be by your side to get the best outcome possible. You’re in good hands with him.Kathryn GilfoyKathryn Gilfoy ★★★★★ john la magnajohn la magna ★★★★★ I had a great experience with Vilkhov Law. Igor was professional, efficient, and made my very stressful first endeavour into needing legal council as much of a breeze as it could have been.He was also very patient with me as a first time offender with way too many questions.I highly recommended Igor, and his team at Vilkhov Law!Norbert WysockiNorbert Wysocki ★★★★★ Igor and his team provided excellent service in very delicate and emotional case. They were extremely supporting and knowledgeable. Thank you for everything you have done!Jason WorthJason Worth ★★★★★ Words cannot describe what Igor has done for me. Igor is the most skilled and amazing attorney I have ever met in my entire life. I had a long list of charges (some that carried some serious penitentiary time) and worked some serious magic with countless hours behind the scenes for me to make just 1 appearance and have ALL THE CHARGES WITHDRAWN and a peace bond put in place. The timeframe for it was amazing as well he took care of me and this situation in only 15 months! (we all know the justice system does not work that fast normally!) If you want a very highly skilled, passionate, available(Igor would take calls and messages even after normal hours to fill me in!), experienced and dedicated attorney that will work tirelssly with you and for you to get you the absolute best results then Igor is your man! 5 stars does not do this man justice he deserves 100 stars!N -N - ★★★★★ Great lawyer. Knowledgeable and helpful. 10/10 would recommend :)GLORIS SPENCEGLORIS SPENCE ★★★★★ Working with Igor and his team during a very unpleasant situation has been a blessing. Even though the legal process was a lengthy one, they were there to answer the questions and concerns we had.Thankfully, it's all over and settled and hopefully we'll not need his services again, but it is reassuring to know that if the situation should every arise where legal counsel is needed, Vilkhov Law Professional will be there in my corner.Thank you.Scott K.Scott K. ★★★★★ I would like to give Igor 5 stars for handling my serious case for the last 11 months of my life. In December 2022, I was wrongfully accused of 2 serious charges under my name however, Igor took care of it from the beginning and finally all of those wrongful charges are withdrawn and now I feel much better and at ease. I am very glad that Igor could help me throughout the hard process and bring out the best result possible! Also, what I want to pinpoint out for the most is that he picks up the call by himself and you get to contact directly with him whenever you have questions or want updates throughout the process. I know that it could be tiring for lawyers who have other clients at the moment but Igor always keep a close contact with his client and I was always able to talk to him directly when I needed for the last 11 months. At last, I wish all the best for Igor and hope that god blesses throughout his career and may he be able to offer his professionalism to help other people in need. Thank you Igor :)SAID ALISAID ALI ★★★★★ Igor is an exceptional lawyer! I am very thankful for his excellent professional legal advice and assistance, he was able to drop my S.A charges. Thank you Igor for everything you've done, I really appreciate your services.M AlyM Aly ★★★★★ I was charged with SA, which rarely ever get dropped and generally always go to trial. Igor Vilkhov was able to get my charges fully withdrawn with no consequences or harm to me.Every lawyer I spoke with quoted me astronomical fees and explained how they would have to jump through hoops and perform ‘legal gymnastics’ to help me. Igor was the only lawyer who gave me a fair and realistic fee structure. He walked me through what the process would look like and gave realistic expectations. It was clear from the start he knew what he was doing and that his experience was significant. Throughout the process he provided regular updates and was always reachable. If you’re charged, I highly recommend at least speaking with Igor before making a decision on an attorney.Melissa HinrichsenMelissa Hinrichsen ★★★★★ Igor was amazing to deal with. His response time was amazing compared to others. He knew what I needed and got the job done. I highly recommend to everyone.NicoleNicole ★★★★★ Very kind and helpfulDevere SDevere S ★★★★★ Mr.Vilkhov is a professional and very good lawyer, goes through everyrhing to make sure it gets dealt with properly, He replies fast if you have questions or anything as well, along with his staff Jessica she was a big help as well.js_loader

CONTACT US

“Caring, honest, and highly knowledgeable.”

Contact Igor for a Free Consultation!

Please contact us online for a free consultation.
Go to Top