Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2016-06-06 and last amended on 2015-07-23. Previous Versions

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.
Marginal note:Giving information to person interested

 No person shall be deemed to publish a defamatory libel by reason only that he publishes to another person defamatory matter for the purpose of giving information to that person with respect to a subject-matter in which the person to whom the information is given has, or is believed on reasonable grounds by the person who gives it to have, an interest in knowing the truth with respect to that subject-matter if

  • (a) the conduct of the person who gives the information is reasonable in the circumstances;

  • (b) the defamatory matter is relevant to the subject-matter; and

  • (c) the defamatory matter is true, or if it is not true, is made without ill-will toward the person who is defamed and is made in the belief, on reasonable grounds, that it is true.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 278.
Marginal note:Publication in good faith for redress of wrong

 No person shall be deemed to publish a defamatory libel by reason only that he publishes defamatory matter in good faith for the purpose of seeking remedy or redress for a private or public wrong or grievance from a person who has, or who on reasonable grounds he believes has, the right or is under an obligation to remedy or redress the wrong or grievance, if

  • (a) he believes that the defamatory matter is true;

  • (b) the defamatory matter is relevant to the remedy or redress that is sought; and

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

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 279.
Marginal note:Proving publication by order of legislature
  •  (1) An accused who is alleged to have published a defamatory libel may, at any stage of the proceedings, adduce evidence to prove that the matter that is alleged to be defamatory was contained in a paper published by order or under the authority of the Senate or House of Commons or the legislature of a province.

  • Marginal note:Directing verdict

    (2) Where at any stage in proceedings referred to in subsection (1) the court, judge, justice or provincial court judge is satisfied that the matter alleged to be defamatory was contained in a paper published by order or under the authority of the Senate or House of Commons or the legislature of a province, he shall direct a verdict of not guilty to be entered and shall discharge the accused.

  • Marginal note:Certificate of order

    (3) For the purposes of this section, a certificate under the hand of the Speaker or clerk of the Senate or House of Commons or the legislature of a province to the effect that the matter that is alleged to be defamatory was contained in a paper published by order or under the authority of the Senate, House of Commons or the legislature of a province, as the case may be, is conclusive evidence thereof.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 316;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203.

Verdicts

Marginal note:Verdicts in cases of defamatory libel

 Where, on the trial of an indictment for publishing a defamatory libel, a plea of not guilty is pleaded, the jury that is sworn to try the issue may give a general verdict of guilty or not guilty on the whole matter put in issue on the indictment, and shall not be required or directed by the judge to find the defendant guilty merely on proof of publication by the defendant of the alleged defamatory libel, and of the sense ascribed thereto in the indictment, but the judge may, in his discretion, give a direction or opinion to the jury on the matter in issue as in other criminal proceedings, and the jury may, on the issue, find a special verdict.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 281.

Hate Propaganda

Marginal note:Advocating genocide
  •  (1) Every one who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

  • Definition of genocide

    (2) In this section, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group, namely,

    • (a) killing members of the group; or

    • (b) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.

  • Marginal note:Consent

    (3) No proceeding for an offence under this section shall be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General.

  • Definition of identifiable group

    (4) In this section, identifiable group means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 318;
  • 2004, c. 14, s. 1;
  • 2014, c. 31, s. 12.
Marginal note:Public incitement of hatred
  •  (1) Every one who, by communicating statements in any public place, incites hatred against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace is guilty of

    • (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

    • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

  • Marginal note:Wilful promotion of hatred

    (2) Every one who, by communicating statements, other than in private conversation, wilfully promotes hatred against any identifiable group is guilty of

    • (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years; or

    • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

  • Marginal note:Defences

    (3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under subsection (2)

    • (a) if he establishes that the statements communicated were true;

    • (b) if, in good faith, the person expressed or attempted to establish by an argument an opinion on a religious subject or an opinion based on a belief in a religious text;

    • (c) if the statements were relevant to any subject of public interest, the discussion of which was for the public benefit, and if on reasonable grounds he believed them to be true; or

    • (d) if, in good faith, he intended to point out, for the purpose of removal, matters producing or tending to produce feelings of hatred toward an identifiable group in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Forfeiture

    (4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under section 318 or subsection (1) or (2) of this section, anything by means of or in relation to which the offence was committed, on such conviction, may, in addition to any other punishment imposed, be ordered by the presiding provincial court judge or judge to be forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province in which that person is convicted, for disposal as the Attorney General may direct.

  • Marginal note:Exemption from seizure of communication facilities

    (5) Subsections 199(6) and (7) apply with such modifications as the circumstances require to section 318 or subsection (1) or (2) of this section.

  • Marginal note:Consent

    (6) No proceeding for an offence under subsection (2) shall be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General.

  • Marginal note:Definitions

    (7) In this section,

    communicating

    communiquer

    communicating includes communicating by telephone, broadcasting or other audible or visible means; (communiquer)

    identifiable group

    groupe identifiable

    identifiable group has the same meaning as in section 318; (groupe identifiable)

    public place

    endroit public

    public place includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied; (endroit public)

    statements

    déclarations

    statements includes words spoken or written or recorded electronically or electro-magnetically or otherwise, and gestures, signs or other visible representations. (déclarations)

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 319;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203;
  • 2004, c. 14, s. 2.
 
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