Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2014-12-08 and last amended on 2014-12-06. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Public benefit

 No person shall be deemed to publish a defamatory libel by reason only that he publishes defamatory matter that, on reasonable grounds, he believes is true, and that is relevant to any subject of public interest, the public discussion of which is for the public benefit.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 273.
Marginal note:Fair comment on public person or work of art

 No person shall be deemed to publish a defamatory libel by reason only that he publishes fair comments

  • (a) on the public conduct of a person who takes part in public affairs; or

  • (b) on a published book or other literary production, or on any composition or work of art or performance publicly exhibited, or on any other communication made to the public on any subject, if the comments are confined to criticism thereof.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 274.
Marginal note:When truth a defence

 No person shall be deemed to publish a defamatory libel where he proves that the publication of the defamatory matter in the manner in which it was published was for the public benefit at the time when it was published and that the matter itself was true.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 275.
Marginal note:Publication invited or necessary

 No person shall be deemed to publish a defamatory libel by reason only that he publishes defamatory matter

  • (a) on the invitation or challenge of the person in respect of whom it is published, or

  • (b) that it is necessary to publish in order to refute defamatory matter published in respect of him by another person,

if he believes that the defamatory matter is true and it is relevant to the invitation, challenge or necessary refutation, as the case may be, and does not in any respect exceed what is reasonably sufficient in the circumstances.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 276.
Marginal note:Answer to inquiries

 No person shall be deemed to publish a defamatory libel by reason only that he publishes, in answer to inquiries made to him, defamatory matter relating to a subject-matter in respect of which the person by whom or on whose behalf the inquiries are made has an interest in knowing the truth or who, on reasonable grounds, the person who publishes the defamatory matter believes has such an interest, if

  • (a) the matter is published, in good faith, for the purpose of giving information in answer to the inquiries;

  • (b) the person who publishes the defamatory matter believes that it is true;

  • (c) the defamatory matter is relevant to the inquiries; and

  • (d) the defamatory matter does not in any respect exceed what is reasonably sufficient in the circumstances.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 277.