Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2014-10-15 and last amended on 2014-09-19. Previous Versions

Definition of “child pornography”

  •  (1) In this section, “child pornography” means

    • (a) a photographic, film, video or other visual representation, whether or not it was made by electronic or mechanical means,

      • (i) that shows a person who is or is depicted as being under the age of eighteen years and is engaged in or is depicted as engaged in explicit sexual activity, or

      • (ii) the dominant characteristic of which is the depiction, for a sexual purpose, of a sexual organ or the anal region of a person under the age of eighteen years;

    • (b) any written material, visual representation or audio recording that advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act;

    • (c) any written material whose dominant characteristic is the description, for a sexual purpose, of sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act; or

    • (d) any audio recording that has as its dominant characteristic the description, presentation or representation, for a sexual purpose, of sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act.

  • Marginal note:Making child pornography

    (2) Every person who makes, prints, publishes or possesses for the purpose of publication any child pornography is guilty of

    • (a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; or

    • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years less a day and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six months.

  • Marginal note:Distribution, etc. of child pornography

    (3) Every person who transmits, makes available, distributes, sells, advertises, imports, exports or possesses for the purpose of transmission, making available, distribution, sale, advertising or exportation any child pornography is guilty of

    • (a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year; or

    • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years less a day and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six months.

  • Marginal note:Possession of child pornography

    (4) Every person who possesses any child pornography is guilty of

    • (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six months; or

    • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 90 days.

  • Marginal note:Accessing child pornography

    (4.1) Every person who accesses any child pornography is guilty of

    • (a) an indictable offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six months; or

    • (b) an offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of 90 days.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation

    (4.2) For the purposes of subsection (4.1), a person accesses child pornography who knowingly causes child pornography to be viewed by, or transmitted to, himself or herself.

  • Marginal note:Aggravating factor

    (4.3) If a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court that imposes the sentence shall consider as an aggravating factor the fact that the person committed the offence with intent to make a profit.

  • Marginal note:Defence

    (5) It is not a defence to a charge under subsection (2) in respect of a visual representation that the accused believed that a person shown in the representation that is alleged to constitute child pornography was or was depicted as being eighteen years of age or more unless the accused took all reasonable steps to ascertain the age of that person and took all reasonable steps to ensure that, where the person was eighteen years of age or more, the representation did not depict that person as being under the age of eighteen years.

  • Marginal note:Defence

    (6) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section if the act that is alleged to constitute the offence

    • (a) has a legitimate purpose related to the administration of justice or to science, medicine, education or art; and

    • (b) does not pose an undue risk of harm to persons under the age of eighteen years.

  • Marginal note:Question of law

    (7) For greater certainty, for the purposes of this section, it is a question of law whether any written material, visual representation or audio recording advocates or counsels sexual activity with a person under the age of eighteen years that would be an offence under this Act.

  • 1993, c. 46, s. 2;
  • 2002, c. 13, s. 5;
  • 2005, c. 32, s. 7;
  • 2012, c. 1, s. 17.