PART VIIIOffences Against the Person and Reputation (continued)
Defamatory Libel (continued)
Marginal note:Publication in good faith for redress of wrong
315 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
316 (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
Marginal note:Verdicts in cases of defamatory libel
317 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
Marginal note:Advocating genocide
Marginal note: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,
(3) No proceeding for an offence under this section shall be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General.
Marginal note: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, gender identity or expression, or mental or physical disability.
- R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 318
- 2004, c. 14, s. 1
- 2014, c. 31, s. 12
- 2017, c. 13, s. 3
- 2019, c. 25, s. 120
Marginal note:Public incitement of hatred
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
(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.
(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.
(6) No proceeding for an offence under subsection (2) shall be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General.
(7) In this section,
communicating includes communicating by telephone, broadcasting or other audible or visible means; (communiquer)
- identifiable group
identifiable group has the same meaning as in section 318; (groupe identifiable)
- public place
public place includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, express or implied; (endroit public)
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
Marginal note:Warrant of seizure
320 (1) A judge who is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds for believing that any publication, copies of which are kept for sale or distribution in premises within the jurisdiction of the court, is hate propaganda shall issue a warrant under his hand authorizing seizure of the copies.
Marginal note:Summons to occupier
(2) Within seven days of the issue of a warrant under subsection (1), the judge shall issue a summons to the occupier of the premises requiring him to appear before the court and show cause why the matter seized should not be forfeited to Her Majesty.
Marginal note:Owner and author may appear
(3) The owner and the author of the matter seized under subsection (1) and alleged to be hate propaganda may appear and be represented in the proceedings in order to oppose the making of an order for the forfeiture of the matter.
Marginal note:Order of forfeiture
(4) If the court is satisfied that the publication referred to in subsection (1) is hate propaganda, it shall make an order declaring the matter forfeited to Her Majesty in right of the province in which the proceedings take place, for disposal as the Attorney General may direct.
Marginal note:Disposal of matter
(5) If the court is not satisfied that the publication referred to in subsection (1) is hate propaganda, it shall order that the matter be restored to the person from whom it was seized forthwith after the time for final appeal has expired.
(6) An appeal lies from an order made under subsection (4) or (5) by any person who appeared in the proceedings
(a) on any ground of appeal that involves a question of law alone,
(b) on any ground of appeal that involves a question of fact alone, or
(c) on any ground of appeal that involves a question of mixed law and fact,
as if it were an appeal against conviction or against a judgment or verdict of acquittal, as the case may be, on a question of law alone under Part XXI, and sections 673 to 696 apply with such modifications as the circumstances require.
(7) No proceeding under this section shall be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General.
(8) In this section,
(a) in the Province of Quebec, the Court of Quebec,
(a.1) in the Province of Ontario, the Superior Court of Justice,
(b) in the Provinces of New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench,
(c) in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Supreme Court, Trial Division,
(c.1) [Repealed, 1992, c. 51, s. 36]
(d) in the Provinces of Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, in Yukon and in the Northwest Territories, the Supreme Court, and
(e) in Nunavut, the Nunavut Court of Justice; (tribunal)
genocide has the same meaning as in section 318; (génocide)
- hate propaganda
hate propaganda means any writing, sign or visible representation that advocates or promotes genocide or the communication of which by any person would constitute an offence under section 319; (propagande haineuse)
judge means a judge of a court. (juge)
- R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 320
- R.S., 1985, c. 27 (2nd Supp.), s. 10, c. 40 (4th Supp.), s. 2
- 1990, c. 16, s. 4, c. 17, s. 11
- 1992, c. 1, s. 58, c. 51, s. 36
- 1998, c. 30, s. 14
- 1999, c. 3, s. 29
- 2002, c. 7, s. 142
- 2015, c. 3, s. 49
- Date modified: