An Act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal liability of organizations) (S.C. 2003, c. 21)

Assented to 2003-11-07

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal liability of organizations)

S.C. 2003, c. 21

Assented to 2003-11-07

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (criminal liability of organizations)

SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to

  • (a) establish rules for attributing to organizations, including corporations, criminal liability for the acts of their representatives;

  • (b) establish a legal duty for all persons directing work to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of workers and the public;

  • (c) set out factors for courts to consider when sentencing an organization; and

  • (d) provide optional conditions of probation that a court may impose on an organization.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

R.S., c. C-46CRIMINAL CODE

  •  (1) The definition “ “every one”, “person”, “owner” ” in section 2 of the Criminal Code is replaced by the following:

    “every one”, “person” and “owner”

    « quiconque », « individu », « personne » et « propriétaire »

    “every one”, “person” and “owner”, and similar expressions, include Her Majesty and an organization;

  • (2) Section 2 of the Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

    “organization”

    « organisation »

    “organization” means

    • (a) a public body, body corporate, society, company, firm, partnership, trade union or municipality, or

    • (b) an association of persons that

      • (i) is created for a common purpose,

      • (ii) has an operational structure, and

      • (iii) holds itself out to the public as an association of persons;

    “representative”

    « agent »

    “representative”, in respect of an organization, means a director, partner, employee, member, agent or contractor of the organization;

    “senior officer”

    « cadre supérieur »

    “senior officer” means a representative who plays an important role in the establishment of an organization’s policies or is responsible for managing an important aspect of the organization’s activities and, in the case of a body corporate, includes a director, its chief executive officer and its chief financial officer;

 The Act is amended by adding the following after section 22:

Marginal note:Offences of negligence — organizations

22.1 In respect of an offence that requires the prosecution to prove negligence, an organization is a party to the offence if

  • (a) acting within the scope of their authority

    • (i) one of its representatives is a party to the offence, or

    • (ii) two or more of its representatives engage in conduct, whether by act or omission, such that, if it had been the conduct of only one representative, that representative would have been a party to the offence; and

  • (b) the senior officer who is responsible for the aspect of the organization’s activities that is relevant to the offence departs — or the senior officers, collectively, depart — markedly from the standard of care that, in the circumstances, could reasonably be expected to prevent a representative of the organization from being a party to the offence.

Marginal note:Other offences — organizations

22.2 In respect of an offence that requires the prosecution to prove fault — other than negligence — an organization is a party to the offence if, with the intent at least in part to benefit the organization, one of its senior officers

  • (a) acting within the scope of their authority, is a party to the offence;

  • (b) having the mental state required to be a party to the offence and acting within the scope of their authority, directs the work of other representatives of the organization so that they do the act or make the omission specified in the offence; or

  • (c) knowing that a representative of the organization is or is about to be a party to the offence, does not take all reasonable measures to stop them from being a party to the offence.