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Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Full Document:  

Act current to 2022-11-16 and last amended on 2022-10-26. Previous Versions

Part I (continued)

Protection of Persons Administering and Enforcing the Law (continued)

Marginal note:Preventing breach of peace

 Every one who witnesses a breach of the peace is justified in interfering to prevent the continuance or renewal thereof and may detain any person who commits or is about to join in or to renew the breach of the peace, for the purpose of giving him into the custody of a peace officer, if he uses no more force than is reasonably necessary to prevent the continuance or renewal of the breach of the peace or than is reasonably proportioned to the danger to be apprehended from the continuance or renewal of the breach of the peace.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 30

Marginal note:Arrest for breach of peace

  •  (1) Every peace officer who witnesses a breach of the peace and every one who lawfully assists the peace officer is justified in arresting any person whom he finds committing the breach of the peace or who, on reasonable grounds, he believes is about to join in or renew the breach of the peace.

  • Marginal note:Giving person in charge

    (2) Every peace officer is justified in receiving into custody any person who is given into his charge as having been a party to a breach of the peace by one who has, or who on reasonable grounds the peace officer believes has, witnessed the breach of the peace.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 31

Suppression of Riots

Marginal note:Use of force to suppress riot

  •  (1) Every peace officer is justified in using or in ordering the use of as much force as the peace officer believes, in good faith and on reasonable grounds,

    • (a) is necessary to suppress a riot; and

    • (b) is not excessive, having regard to the danger to be apprehended from the continuance of the riot.

  • Marginal note:Person bound by military law

    (2) Every one who is bound by military law to obey the command of his superior officer is justified in obeying any command given by his superior officer for the suppression of a riot unless the order is manifestly unlawful.

  • Marginal note:Obeying order of peace officer

    (3) Every one is justified in obeying an order of a peace officer to use force to suppress a riot if

    • (a) he acts in good faith; and

    • (b) the order is not manifestly unlawful.

  • Marginal note:Apprehension of serious mischief

    (4) Every one who, in good faith and on reasonable grounds, believes that serious mischief will result from a riot before it is possible to secure the attendance of a peace officer is justified in using as much force as he believes in good faith and on reasonable grounds,

    • (a) is necessary to suppress the riot; and

    • (b) is not excessive, having regard to the danger to be apprehended from the continuance of the riot.

  • Marginal note:Question of law

    (5) For the purposes of this section, the question whether an order is manifestly unlawful or not is a question of law.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 32

Marginal note:Duty of officers if rioters do not disperse

  •  (1) Where the proclamation referred to in section 67 has been made or an offence against paragraph 68(a) or (b) has been committed, it is the duty of a peace officer and of a person who is lawfully required by him to assist, to disperse or to arrest persons who do not comply with the proclamation.

  • Marginal note:Protection of officers

    (2) No civil or criminal proceedings lie against a peace officer or a person who is lawfully required by a peace officer to assist him in respect of any death or injury that by reason of resistance is caused as a result of the performance by the peace officer or that person of a duty that is imposed by subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Section not restrictive

    (3) Nothing in this section limits or affects any powers, duties or functions that are conferred or imposed by this Act with respect to the suppression of riots.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 33

Self-induced Extreme Intoxication

Marginal note:Offences of violence by negligence

  •  (1) A person who, by reason of self-induced extreme intoxication, lacks the general intent or voluntariness ordinarily required to commit an offence referred to in subsection (3), nonetheless commits the offence if

    • (a) all the other elements of the offence are present; and

    • (b) before they were in a state of extreme intoxication, they departed markedly from the standard of care expected of a reasonable person in the circumstances with respect to the consumption of intoxicating substances.

  • Marginal note:Marked departure — foreseeability of risk and other circumstances

    (2) For the purposes of determining whether the person departed markedly from the standard of care, the court must consider the objective foreseeability of the risk that the consumption of the intoxicating substances could cause extreme intoxication and lead the person to harm another person. The court must, in making the determination, also consider all relevant circumstances, including anything that the person did to avoid the risk.

  • Marginal note:Offences

    (3) This section applies in respect of an offence under this Act or any other Act of Parliament that includes as an element an assault or any other interference or threat of interference by a person with the bodily integrity of another person.

  • Marginal note:Definition of extreme intoxication

    (4) In this section, extreme intoxication means intoxication that renders a person unaware of, or incapable of consciously controlling, their behaviour.

Defence of Person

Marginal note:Defence — use or threat of force

  •  (1) A person is not guilty of an offence if

    • (a) they believe on reasonable grounds that force is being used against them or another person or that a threat of force is being made against them or another person;

    • (b) the act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of defending or protecting themselves or the other person from that use or threat of force; and

    • (c) the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Factors

    (2) In determining whether the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances, the court shall consider the relevant circumstances of the person, the other parties and the act, including, but not limited to, the following factors:

    • (a) the nature of the force or threat;

    • (b) the extent to which the use of force was imminent and whether there were other means available to respond to the potential use of force;

    • (c) the person’s role in the incident;

    • (d) whether any party to the incident used or threatened to use a weapon;

    • (e) the size, age, gender and physical capabilities of the parties to the incident;

    • (f) the nature, duration and history of any relationship between the parties to the incident, including any prior use or threat of force and the nature of that force or threat;

    • (f.1) any history of interaction or communication between the parties to the incident;

    • (g) the nature and proportionality of the person’s response to the use or threat of force; and

    • (h) whether the act committed was in response to a use or threat of force that the person knew was lawful.

  • Marginal note:No defence

    (3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the force is used or threatened by another person for the purpose of doing something that they are required or authorized by law to do in the administration or enforcement of the law, unless the person who commits the act that constitutes the offence believes on reasonable grounds that the other person is acting unlawfully.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 34
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 60(F)
  • 2012, c. 9, s. 2

Defence of Property

Marginal note:Defence — property

  •  (1) A person is not guilty of an offence if

    • (a) they either believe on reasonable grounds that they are in peaceable possession of property or are acting under the authority of, or lawfully assisting, a person whom they believe on reasonable grounds is in peaceable possession of property;

    • (b) they believe on reasonable grounds that another person

      • (i) is about to enter, is entering or has entered the property without being entitled by law to do so,

      • (ii) is about to take the property, is doing so or has just done so, or

      • (iii) is about to damage or destroy the property, or make it inoperative, or is doing so;

    • (c) the act that constitutes the offence is committed for the purpose of

      • (i) preventing the other person from entering the property, or removing that person from the property, or

      • (ii) preventing the other person from taking, damaging or destroying the property or from making it inoperative, or retaking the property from that person; and

    • (d) the act committed is reasonable in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:No defence

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the person who believes on reasonable grounds that they are, or who is believed on reasonable grounds to be, in peaceable possession of the property does not have a claim of right to it and the other person is entitled to its possession by law.

  • Marginal note:No defence

    (3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the other person is doing something that they are required or authorized by law to do in the administration or enforcement of the law, unless the person who commits the act that constitutes the offence believes on reasonable grounds that the other person is acting unlawfully.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 35
  • 2012, c. 9, s. 2

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 9, s. 2]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 9, s. 2]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 9, s. 2]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 9, s. 2]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 9, s. 2]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 9, s. 2]

 [Repealed, 2012, c. 9, s. 2]

Protection of Persons in Authority

Marginal note:Correction of child by force

 Every schoolteacher, parent or person standing in the place of a parent is justified in using force by way of correction toward a pupil or child, as the case may be, who is under his care, if the force does not exceed what is reasonable under the circumstances.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 43

 [Repealed, 2001, c. 26, s. 294]

Marginal note:Surgical operations

 Every one is protected from criminal responsibility for performing a surgical operation on any person for the benefit of that person if

  • (a) the operation is performed with reasonable care and skill; and

  • (b) it is reasonable to perform the operation, having regard to the state of health of the person at the time the operation is performed and to all the circumstances of the case.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 45

PART IIOffences Against Public Order

Treason and other Offences against the Queen’s Authority and Person

Marginal note:High treason

  •  (1) Every one commits high treason who, in Canada,

    • (a) kills or attempts to kill Her Majesty, or does her any bodily harm tending to death or destruction, maims or wounds her, or imprisons or restrains her;

    • (b) levies war against Canada or does any act preparatory thereto; or

    • (c) assists an enemy at war with Canada, or any armed forces against whom Canadian Forces are engaged in hostilities, whether or not a state of war exists between Canada and the country whose forces they are.

  • Marginal note:Treason

    (2) Every one commits treason who, in Canada,

    • (a) uses force or violence for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Canada or a province;

    • (b) without lawful authority, communicates or makes available to an agent of a state other than Canada, military or scientific information or any sketch, plan, model, article, note or document of a military or scientific character that he knows or ought to know may be used by that state for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or defence of Canada;

    • (c) conspires with any person to commit high treason or to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a);

    • (d) forms an intention to do anything that is high treason or that is mentioned in paragraph (a) and manifests that intention by an overt act; or

    • (e) conspires with any person to do anything mentioned in paragraph (b) or forms an intention to do anything mentioned in paragraph (b) and manifests that intention by an overt act.

  • Marginal note:Canadian citizen

    (3) Notwithstanding subsection (1) or (2), a Canadian citizen or a person who owes allegiance to Her Majesty in right of Canada,

    • (a) commits high treason if, while in or out of Canada, he does anything mentioned in subsection (1); or

    • (b) commits treason if, while in or out of Canada, he does anything mentioned in subsection (2).

  • Marginal note:Overt act

    (4) Where it is treason to conspire with any person, the act of conspiring is an overt act of treason.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 46
  • 1974-75-76, c. 105, s. 2

Marginal note:Punishment for high treason

  •  (1) Every one who commits high treason is guilty of an indictable offence and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life.

  • Marginal note:Punishment for treason

    (2) Every one who commits treason is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

    • (a) to be sentenced to imprisonment for life if he is guilty of an offence under paragraph 46(2)(a), (c) or (d);

    • (b) to be sentenced to imprisonment for life if he is guilty of an offence under paragraph 46(2)(b) or (e) committed while a state of war exists between Canada and another country; or

    • (c) to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years if he is guilty of an offence under paragraph 46(2)(b) or (e) committed while no state of war exists between Canada and another country.

  • Marginal note:Corroboration

    (3) No person shall be convicted of high treason or treason on the evidence of only one witness, unless the evidence of that witness is corroborated in a material particular by evidence that implicates the accused.

  • Marginal note:Minimum punishment

    (4) For the purposes of Part XXIII, the sentence of imprisonment for life prescribed by subsection (1) is a minimum punishment.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 47
  • 1974-75-76, c. 105, s. 2
 
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