Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2016-06-21 and last amended on 2016-06-17. Previous Versions

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.
Marginal note:Infanticide

 A female person commits infanticide when by a wilful act or omission she causes the death of her newly-born child, if at the time of the act or omission she is not fully recovered from the effects of giving birth to the child and by reason thereof or of the effect of lactation consequent on the birth of the child her mind is then disturbed.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 216.
Marginal note:Manslaughter

 Culpable homicide that is not murder or infanticide is manslaughter.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 217.
Marginal note:Punishment for murder
  •  (1) Every one who commits first degree murder or second degree murder is guilty of an indictable offence and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life.

  • Marginal note:Minimum punishment

    (2) For the purposes of Part XXIII, the sentence of imprisonment for life prescribed by this section is a minimum punishment.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 218;
  • 1973-74, c. 38, s. 3;
  • 1974-75-76, c. 105, s. 5.
Marginal note:Manslaughter

 Every person who commits manslaughter is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

  • (a) where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and

  • (b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 236;
  • 1995, c. 39, s. 142.
Marginal note:Punishment for infanticide

 Every female person who commits infanticide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 220.
Marginal note:Killing unborn child in act of birth
  •  (1) Every one who causes the death, in the act of birth, of any child that has not become a human being, in such a manner that, if the child were a human being, he would be guilty of murder, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (2) This section does not apply to a person who, by means that, in good faith, he considers necessary to preserve the life of the mother of a child, causes the death of that child.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 221.
Marginal note:Attempt to commit murder
  •  (1) Every person who attempts by any means to commit murder is guilty of an indictable offence and liable

    • (a) if a restricted firearm or prohibited firearm is used in the commission of the offence or if any firearm is used in the commission of the offence and the offence is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of

      • (i) in the case of a first offence, five years, and

      • (ii) in the case of a second or subsequent offence, seven years;

    • (a.1) in any other case where a firearm is used in the commission of the offence, to imprisonment for life and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of four years; and

    • (b) in any other case, to imprisonment for life.

  • Marginal note:Subsequent offences

    (2) In determining, for the purpose of paragraph (1)(a), whether a convicted person has committed a second or subsequent offence, if the person was earlier convicted of any of the following offences, that offence is to be considered as an earlier offence:

    • (a) an offence under this section;

    • (b) an offence under subsection 85(1) or (2) or section 244 or 244.2; or

    • (c) an offence under section 220, 236, 272 or 273, subsection 279(1) or section 279.1, 344 or 346 if a firearm was used in the commission of the offence.

    However, an earlier offence shall not be taken into account if 10 years have elapsed between the day on which the person was convicted of the earlier offence and the day on which the person was convicted of the offence for which sentence is being imposed, not taking into account any time in custody.

  • Marginal note:Sequence of convictions only

    (3) For the purposes of subsection (2), the only question to be considered is the sequence of convictions and no consideration shall be given to the sequence of commission of offences or whether any offence occurred before or after any conviction.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 239;
  • 1995, c. 39, s. 143;
  • 2008, c. 6, s. 16;
  • 2009, c. 22, s. 6.
Marginal note:Accessory after fact to murder

 Every one who is an accessory after the fact to murder is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 223.

Suicide

Marginal note:Counselling or aiding suicide
  •  (1) Everyone is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years who, whether suicide ensues or not,

    • (a) counsels a person to die by suicide or abets a person in dying by suicide; or

    • (b) aids a person to die by suicide.

  • Marginal note:Exemption for medical assistance in dying

    (2) No medical practitioner or nurse practitioner commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

  • Marginal note:Exemption for person aiding practitioner

    (3) No person is a party to an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they do anything for the purpose of aiding a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner to provide a person with medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

  • Marginal note:Exemption for pharmacist

    (4) No pharmacist who dispenses a substance to a person other than a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if the pharmacist dispenses the substance further to a prescription that is written by such a practitioner in providing medical assistance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

  • Marginal note:Exemption for person aiding patient

    (5) No person commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if they do anything, at another person’s explicit request, for the purpose of aiding that other person to self-administer a substance that has been prescribed for that other person as part of the provision of medical assist­ance in dying in accordance with section 241.2.

  • Marginal note:Clarification

    (5.1) For greater certainty, no social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, medical practitioner, nurse practitioner or other health care professional commits an offence if they provide information to a person on the lawful provision of medical assistance in dying.

  • Marginal note:Reasonable but mistaken belief

    (6) For greater certainty, the exemption set out in any of subsections (2) to (5) applies even if the person invoking the exemption has a reasonable but mistaken belief about any fact that is an element of the exemption.

  • Marginal note:Definitions

    (7) In this section, medical assistance in dying, medical practitioner, nurse practitioner and pharmacist have the same meanings as in section 241.1.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 241;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 7;
  • 2016, c. 3, s. 3.
 
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