Criminal Code (Canada)

The Criminal Code (French: Code criminel)[Note 1] is a law that codifies most criminal offences and procedures in Canada. Its official long title is An Act respecting the criminal law (French: Loi concernant le droit criminel),[1] and it is sometimes abbreviated as Cr.C. (French: C.Cr.) in legal reports.[2] Section 91(27) of the Constitution Act, 1867 establishes the sole jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada over criminal law.

Criminal Code
Parliament of Canada
  • An Act respecting the Criminal Law
CitationRSC 1985, c C-46
Enacted byParliament of Canada
EnactedFirst enacted: SC 1892, c 29; carried forward in statute revisions, RSC 1906, c 146 and RSC 1927, c 36; substantially revised and re-enacted, SC 1953-54, c 51; carried forward in statute revisions, RSC 1970, c C-34 and RSC 1985, c C-46

The Criminal Code contains some defences, but most are part of the common law rather than statute. Important Canadian criminal laws not forming part of the code include the Firearms Act, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Canada Evidence Act, the Food and Drugs Act, the Youth Criminal Justice Act and the Contraventions Act.

One of the conveniences of the Criminal Code was that it constituted the principle that no person would be able to be convicted of a crime unless otherwise specifically outlined and stated in a statute. This legal document has played a major part in Canada's history and has also helped form other legal acts and laws, for example, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.[3]