Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2016-05-12 and last amended on 2015-07-23. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Death that might have been prevented

 Where a person, by an act or omission, does any thing that results in the death of a human being, he causes the death of that human being notwithstanding that death from that cause might have been prevented by resorting to proper means.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 207.
Marginal note:Death from treatment of injury

 Where a person causes to a human being a bodily injury that is of itself of a dangerous nature and from which death results, he causes the death of that human being notwithstanding that the immediate cause of death is proper or improper treatment that is applied in good faith.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 208.
Marginal note:Acceleration of death

 Where a person causes to a human being a bodily injury that results in death, he causes the death of that human being notwithstanding that the effect of the bodily injury is only to accelerate his death from a disease or disorder arising from some other cause.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 209.

 [Repealed, 1999, c. 5, s. 9]

Marginal note:Killing by influence on the mind

 No person commits culpable homicide where he causes the death of a human being

  • (a) by any influence on the mind alone, or

  • (b) by any disorder or disease resulting from influence on the mind alone,

but this section does not apply where a person causes the death of a child or sick person by wilfully frightening him.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 211.

Murder, Manslaughter and Infanticide

Marginal note:Murder

 Culpable homicide is murder

  • (a) where the person who causes the death of a human being

    • (i) means to cause his death, or

    • (ii) means to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and is reckless whether death ensues or not;

  • (b) where a person, meaning to cause death to a human being or meaning to cause him bodily harm that he knows is likely to cause his death, and being reckless whether death ensues or not, by accident or mistake causes death to another human being, notwithstanding that he does not mean to cause death or bodily harm to that human being; or

  • (c) where a person, for an unlawful object, does anything that he knows or ought to know is likely to cause death, and thereby causes death to a human being, notwithstanding that he desires to effect his object without causing death or bodily harm to any human being.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 212.
Marginal note:Murder in commission of offences

 Culpable homicide is murder where a person causes the death of a human being while committing or attempting to commit high treason or treason or an offence mentioned in section 52 (sabotage), 75 (piratical acts), 76 (hijacking an aircraft), 144 or subsection 145(1) or sections 146 to 148 (escape or rescue from prison or lawful custody), section 270 (assaulting a peace officer), section 271 (sexual assault), 272 (sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm), 273 (aggravated sexual assault), 279 (kidnapping and forcible confinement), 279.1 (hostage taking), 343 (robbery), 348 (breaking and entering) or 433 or 434 (arson), whether or not the person means to cause death to any human being and whether or not he knows that death is likely to be caused to any human being, if

  • (a) he means to cause bodily harm for the purpose of

    • (i) facilitating the commission of the offence, or

    • (ii) facilitating his flight after committing or attempting to commit the offence,

    and the death ensues from the bodily harm;

  • (b) he administers a stupefying or overpowering thing for a purpose mentioned in paragraph (a), and the death ensues therefrom; or

  • (c) he wilfully stops, by any means, the breath of a human being for a purpose mentioned in paragraph (a), and the death ensues therefrom.

  • (d) [Repealed, 1991, c. 4, s. 1]

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 230;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 40;
  • 1991, c. 4, s. 1.
Marginal note:Classification of murder
  •  (1) Murder is first degree murder or second degree murder.

  • Marginal note:Planned and deliberate murder

    (2) Murder is first degree murder when it is planned and deliberate.

  • Marginal note:Contracted murder

    (3) Without limiting the generality of subsection (2), murder is planned and deliberate when it is committed pursuant to an arrangement under which money or anything of value passes or is intended to pass from one person to another, or is promised by one person to another, as consideration for that other’s causing or assisting in causing the death of anyone or counselling another person to do any act causing or assisting in causing that death.

  • Marginal note:Murder of peace officer, etc.

    (4) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder when the victim is

    • (a) a police officer, police constable, constable, sheriff, deputy sheriff, sheriff’s officer or other person employed for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace, acting in the course of his duties;

    • (b) a warden, deputy warden, instructor, keeper, jailer, guard or other officer or a permanent employee of a prison, acting in the course of his duties; or

    • (c) a person working in a prison with the permission of the prison authorities and acting in the course of his work therein.

  • Marginal note:Hijacking, sexual assault or kidnapping

    (5) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder in respect of a person when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under one of the following sections:

    • (a) section 76 (hijacking an aircraft);

    • (b) section 271 (sexual assault);

    • (c) section 272 (sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party or causing bodily harm);

    • (d) section 273 (aggravated sexual assault);

    • (e) section 279 (kidnapping and forcible confinement); or

    • (f) section 279.1 (hostage taking).

  • Marginal note:Criminal harassment

    (6) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of any person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under section 264 and the person committing that offence intended to cause the person murdered to fear for the safety of the person murdered or the safety of anyone known to the person murdered.

  • Marginal note:Murder — terrorist activity

    (6.01) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament if the act or omission constituting the offence also constitutes a terrorist activity.

  • Marginal note:Murder — criminal organization

    (6.1) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when

    • (a) the death is caused by that person for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization; or

    • (b) the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an indictable offence under this or any other Act of Parliament for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a criminal organization.

  • Marginal note:Intimidation

    (6.2) Irrespective of whether a murder is planned and deliberate on the part of a person, murder is first degree murder when the death is caused by that person while committing or attempting to commit an offence under section 423.1.

  • Marginal note:Second degree murder

    (7) All murder that is not first degree murder is second degree murder.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 231;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), ss. 7, 35, 40, 185(F), c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F);
  • 1997, c. 16, s. 3, c. 23, s. 8;
  • 2001, c. 32, s. 9, c. 41, s. 9;
  • 2009, c. 22, s. 5.
Marginal note:Murder reduced to manslaughter
  •  (1) Culpable homicide that otherwise would be murder may be reduced to manslaughter if the person who committed it did so in the heat of passion caused by sudden provocation.

  • Marginal note:What is provocation

    (2) Conduct of the victim that would constitute an indictable offence under this Act that is punishable by five or more years of imprisonment and that is of such a nature as to be sufficient to deprive an ordinary person of the power of self-control is provocation for the purposes of this section, if the accused acted on it on the sudden and before there was time for their passion to cool.

  • Marginal note:Questions of fact

    (3) For the purposes of this section, the questions

    • (a) whether the conduct of the victim amounted to provocation under subsection (2), and

    • (b) whether the accused was deprived of the power of self-control by the provocation that he alleges he received,

    are questions of fact, but no one shall be deemed to have given provocation to another by doing anything that he had a legal right to do, or by doing anything that the accused incited him to do in order to provide the accused with an excuse for causing death or bodily harm to any human being.

  • Marginal note:Death during illegal arrest

    (4) Culpable homicide that otherwise would be murder is not necessarily manslaughter by reason only that it was committed by a person who was being arrested illegally, but the fact that the illegality of the arrest was known to the accused may be evidence of provocation for the purpose of this section.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 232;
  • 2015, c. 29, s. 7.
 
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