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Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act (S.C. 2000, c. 24)

Act current to 2019-08-28 and last amended on 2019-06-21. Previous Versions

Procedure and Defences

Marginal note:Place of trial

  •  (1) Proceedings for an offence under this Act alleged to have been committed outside Canada for which a person may be prosecuted under this Act may, whether or not the person is in Canada, be commenced in any territorial division in Canada and the person may be tried and punished in respect of that offence in the same manner as if the offence had been committed in that territorial division.

  • Marginal note:Presence of accused at trial

    (2) For greater certainty, in a proceeding commenced in any territorial division under subsection (1), the provisions of the Criminal Code relating to requirements that an accused appear at and be present during proceedings and any exceptions to those requirements apply.

  • Marginal note:Personal consent of Attorney General

    (3) No proceedings for an offence under any of sections 4 to 7 of this Act, or under section 354 or subsection 462.31(1) of the Criminal Code in relation to property or proceeds obtained or derived directly or indirectly as a result of the commission of an offence under this Act, may be commenced without the personal consent in writing of the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General of Canada, and those proceedings may be conducted only by the Attorney General of Canada or counsel acting on their behalf.

  • Marginal note:Consent of Attorney General

    (4) No proceedings for an offence under section 18 may be commenced without the consent of the Attorney General of Canada.

  • 2000, c. 24, s. 9
  • 2001, c. 32, s. 59

Marginal note:Evidence and procedure

Footnote * Proceedings for an offence alleged to have been committed before the coming into force of this section shall be conducted in accordance with the laws of evidence and procedure in force at the time of the proceedings.

Marginal note:Defences

 In proceedings for an offence under any of sections 4 to 7, the accused may, subject to sections 12 to 14 and to subsection 607(6) of the Criminal Code, rely on any justification, excuse or defence available under the laws of Canada or under international law at the time of the alleged offence or at the time of the proceedings.

Marginal note:When previously tried outside Canada

  •  (1) If a person is alleged to have committed an act or omission that is an offence under this Act, and the person has been tried and dealt with outside Canada in respect of the offence in such a manner that, had they been tried and dealt with in Canada, they would be able to plead autrefois acquit, autrefois convict or pardon, the person is deemed to have been so tried and dealt with in Canada.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (2) Despite subsection (1), a person may not plead autrefois acquit, autrefois convict or pardon in respect of an offence under any of sections 4 to 7 if the person was tried in a court of a foreign state or territory and the proceedings in that court

    • (a) were for the purpose of shielding the person from criminal responsibility; or

    • (b) were not otherwise conducted independently or impartially in accordance with the norms of due process recognized by international law, and were conducted in a manner that, in the circumstances, was inconsistent with an intent to bring the person to justice.

Marginal note:Conflict with internal law

 Despite section 15 of the Criminal Code, it is not a justification, excuse or defence with respect to an offence under any of sections 4 to 7 that the offence was committed in obedience to or in conformity with the law in force at the time and in the place of its commission.

Marginal note:Defence of superior orders

  •  (1) In proceedings for an offence under any of sections 4 to 7, it is not a defence that the accused was ordered by a government or a superior — whether military or civilian — to perform the act or omission that forms the subject-matter of the offence, unless

    • (a) the accused was under a legal obligation to obey orders of the government or superior;

    • (b) the accused did not know that the order was unlawful; and

    • (c) the order was not manifestly unlawful.

  • Marginal note:Interpretation — manifestly unlawful

    (2) For the purpose of paragraph (1)(c), orders to commit genocide or crimes against humanity are manifestly unlawful.

  • Marginal note:Limitation — belief of accused

    (3) An accused cannot base their defence under subsection (1) on a belief that an order was lawful if the belief was based on information about a civilian population or an identifiable group of persons that encouraged, was likely to encourage or attempted to justify the commission of inhumane acts or omissions against the population or group.

Parole Eligibility

Marginal note:Parole eligibility

  •  (1) The following sentence shall be pronounced against a person who is to be sentenced to imprisonment for life for an offence under section 4 or 6:

    • (a) imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole until the person has served 25 years of the sentence, if a planned and deliberate killing forms the basis of the offence;

    • (b) imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole until the person has served 25 years of the sentence, if an intentional killing that is not planned and deliberate forms the basis of the offence, and

      • (i) the person has previously been convicted of an offence under section 4 or 6 that had, as its basis, an intentional killing, whether or not it was planned and deliberate, or

      • (ii) the person has previously been convicted of culpable homicide that is murder, however described in the Criminal Code;

    • (c) imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole until the person has served at least 10 years of the sentence or any greater number of years, not being more than 25, that has been substituted for it under section 745.4 of the Criminal Code, if an intentional killing that is not planned and deliberate forms the basis of the offence; and

    • (d) imprisonment for life with normal eligibility for parole, in any other case.

  • Marginal note:Parole eligibility

    (1.1) The sentence pronounced against a person who is to be sentenced to imprisonment for life for an offence under section 5 or 7 shall be imprisonment for life with normal eligibility for parole.

  • Marginal note:Provisions of Criminal Code apply

    (2) Sections 745.1 to 746.1 of the Criminal Code apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, to a sentence of life imprisonment imposed under this Act, and, for the purpose of applying those provisions,

    • (a) a reference in sections 745.1, 745.3, 745.5 and 746.1 of the Criminal Code to first degree murder is deemed to be a reference to an offence under section 4 or 6 of this Act when a planned and deliberate killing forms the basis of the offence;

    • (b) a reference in sections 745.1 to 745.5 and 746.1 of the Criminal Code to second degree murder is deemed to be a reference to an offence under section 4 or 6 of this Act when an intentional killing that is not planned and deliberate forms the basis of the offence;

    • (c) a reference in sections 745.4 and 746 of the Criminal Code to section 745 of that Act is deemed to be a reference to subsection (1) or (1.1) of this section;

    • (d) a reference in section 745.6 of the Criminal Code to the province in which a conviction took place is deemed, in respect of a conviction that took place outside Canada, to be a reference to the province in which the offender is incarcerated when the offender makes an application under that section; and

    • (e) a reference in section 745.6 of the Criminal Code to murder is deemed to be a reference to an offence under section 4 or 6 of this Act when an intentional killing forms the basis of the offence.

  • Marginal note:Minimum punishment

    (3) For the purpose of Part XXIII of the Criminal Code, the sentence of imprisonment for life prescribed by sections 4 and 6 is a minimum punishment when an intentional killing forms the basis of the offence.

Offences Against the Administration of Justice

Marginal note:Obstructing justice

  •  (1) Every person who wilfully attempts in any manner to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice of the International Criminal Court is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 10 years.

  • Marginal note:When deemed to have obstructed justice

    (2) Without restricting the generality of subsection (1), every person is deemed wilfully to attempt to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice who in an existing or proposed proceeding of the International Criminal Court

    • (a) dissuades or attempts to dissuade a person by threats, bribes or other corrupt means from giving evidence; or

    • (b) accepts, obtains, agrees to accept or attempts to obtain a bribe or other corrupt consideration to abstain from giving evidence.

 
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