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Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

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Act current to 2024-02-06 and last amended on 2024-01-14. Previous Versions

PART VSexual Offences, Public Morals and Disorderly Conduct (continued)

Offences Tending to Corrupt Morals

Marginal note:Obscene materials

  •  (1) Every person commits an offence who makes, prints, publishes, distributes, circulates or has in their possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or circulation any obscene written matter, picture, model, phonograph record or any other obscene thing.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) Every person commits an offence who knowingly, without lawful justification or excuse,

    • (a) sells, exposes to public view or has in their possession for that purpose any obscene written matter, picture, model, phonograph record or any other obscene thing; or

    • (b) publicly exhibits a disgusting object or an indecent show.

    • (c) and (d) [Repealed, 2018, c. 29, s. 11]

  • Marginal note:Defence of public good

    (3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section if the public good was served by the acts that are alleged to constitute the offence and if the acts alleged did not extend beyond what served the public good.

  • Marginal note:Question of law and question of fact

    (4) For the purposes of this section, it is a question of law whether an act served the public good and whether there is evidence that the act alleged went beyond what served the public good, but it is a question of fact whether the acts did or did not extend beyond what served the public good.

  • Marginal note:Motives irrelevant

    (5) For the purposes of this section, the motives of an accused are irrelevant.

  • (6) [Repealed, 1993, c. 46, s. 1]

  • (7) [Repealed, 2018, c. 29, s. 11]

  • Marginal note:Obscene publication

    (8) For the purposes of this Act, any publication a dominant characteristic of which is the undue exploitation of sex, or of sex and any one or more of the following subjects, namely, crime, horror, cruelty and violence, shall be deemed to be obscene.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 163
  • 1993, c. 46, s. 1
  • 2018, c. 29, s. 11

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 an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year.

  • 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 an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than 14 years and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of one year.

  • 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 10 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 of not more than two years less a day and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six months.

  • 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 10 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 of not more than two years less a day and to a minimum punishment of imprisonment for a term of six months.

  • 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
  • 2015, c. 23, s. 7

Marginal note:Warrant of seizure

  •  (1) A judge may issue a warrant authorizing seizure of copies of a recording, a publication, a representation or any written material, if the judge is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that

    • (a) the recording, copies of which are kept for sale or distribution in premises within the jurisdiction of the court, is a voyeuristic recording;

    • (b) the recording, copies of which are kept for sale or distribution in premises within the jurisdiction of the court, is an intimate image;

    • (c) the publication, copies of which are kept for sale or distribution in premises within the jurisdiction of the court, is obscene, within the meaning of subsection 163(8);

    • (d) the representation, written material or recording, copies of which are kept in premises within the jurisdiction of the court, is child pornography as defined in section 163.1;

    • (e) the representation, written material or recording, copies of which are kept in premises within the jurisdiction of the court, is an advertisement of sexual services; or

    • (f) the representation, written material or recording, copies of which are kept in premises within the jurisdiction of the court, is an advertisement for conversion therapy.

  • 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 maker may appear

    (3) The owner and the maker of the matter seized under subsection (1), and alleged to be obscene, child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, may appear and be represented in the proceedings to oppose the making of an order for the forfeiture of the matter.

  • Marginal note:Order of forfeiture

    (4) If the court is satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the publication, representation, written material or recording referred to in subsection (1) is obscene, child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, it may 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, representation, written material or recording referred to in subsection (1) is obscene, child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, it shall order that the matter be restored to the person from whom it was seized without delay after the time for final appeal has expired.

  • Marginal note:Appeal

    (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.

  • Marginal note:Consent

    (7) If an order is made under this section by a judge in a province with respect to one or more copies of a publication, a representation, written material or a recording, no proceedings shall be instituted or continued in that province under section 162, 162.1, 163, 163.1, 286.4 or 320.103 with respect to those or other copies of the same publication, representation, written material or recording without the consent of the Attorney General.

  • Marginal note:Definitions

    (8) In this section,

    advertisement for conversion therapy

    advertisement for conversion therapy means any material — including a photographic, film, video, audio or other recording, made by any means, a visual representation or any written material — that is used to promote or advertise conversion therapy contrary to section 320.103; (publicité de thérapie de conversion)

    advertisement of sexual services

    advertisement of sexual services means any material  —  including a photographic, film, video, audio or other recording, made by any means, a visual representation or any written material  —  that is used to advertise sexual services contrary to section 286.4; (publicité de services sexuels)

    court

    court means

    • (a) in the Province of Quebec, the Court of Quebec, the municipal court of Montreal and the municipal 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 Trial Division of the Supreme Court,

    • (c.1) [Repealed, 1992, c. 51, s. 34]

    • (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)

    crime comic

    crime comic[Repealed, 2018, c. 29, s. 12]

    intimate image

    intimate image has the same meaning as in subsection 162.1(2); (image intime)

    judge

    judge means a judge of a court; (juge)

    voyeuristic recording

    voyeuristic recording means a visual recording within the meaning of subsection 162(2) that is made as described in subsection 162(1). (enregistrement voyeuriste)

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 164
  • R.S., 1985, c. 27 (2nd Supp.), s. 10, c. 40 (4th Supp.), s. 2
  • 1990, c. 16, s. 3, c. 17, s. 9
  • 1992, c. 1, s. 58, c. 51, s. 34
  • 1993, c. 46, s. 3
  • 1997, c. 18, s. 5
  • 1998, c. 30, s. 14
  • 1999, c. 3, s. 27
  • 2002, c. 7, s. 139, c. 13, s. 6
  • 2005, c. 32, s. 8
  • 2014, c. 25, ss. 6, 46, c. 31, s. 4
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 46
  • 2018, c. 29, s. 12
  • 2021, c. 24, s. 1

Marginal note:Warrant of seizure

  •  (1) If a judge is satisfied by information on oath that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is material — namely, child pornography as defined in section 163.1, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, or computer data as defined in subsection 342.1(2) that makes child pornography, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy available — that is stored on and made available through a computer system as defined in subsection 342.1(2) that is within the jurisdiction of the court, the judge may order the custodian of the computer system to

    • (a) give an electronic copy of the material to the court;

    • (b) ensure that the material is no longer stored on and made available through the computer system; and

    • (c) provide the information necessary to identify and locate the person who posted the material.

  • Marginal note:Notice to person who posted the material

    (2) Within a reasonable time after receiving the information referred to in paragraph (1)(c), the judge shall cause notice to be given to the person who posted the material, giving that person the opportunity to appear and be represented before the court, and show cause why the material should not be deleted. If the person cannot be identified or located or does not reside in Canada, the judge may order the custodian of the computer system to post the text of the notice at the location where the material was previously stored and made available, until the time set for the appearance.

  • Marginal note:Person who posted the material may appear

    (3) The person who posted the material may appear and be represented in the proceedings in order to oppose the making of an order under subsection (5).

  • Marginal note:Non-appearance

    (4) If the person who posted the material does not appear for the proceedings, the court may proceed ex parte to hear and determine the proceedings in the absence of the person as fully and effectually as if the person had appeared.

  • Marginal note:Order

    (5) If the court is satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the material is child pornography as defined in section 163.1, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, or computer data as defined in subsection 342.1(2) that makes child pornography, the voyeuristic recording, the intimate image, the advertisement of sexual services or the advertisement for conversion therapy available, it may order the custodian of the computer system to delete the material.

  • Marginal note:Destruction of copy

    (6) When the court makes the order for the deletion of the material, it may order the destruction of the electronic copy in the court’s possession.

  • Marginal note:Return of material

    (7) If the court is not satisfied that the material is child pornography as defined in section 163.1, a voyeuristic recording, an intimate image, an advertisement of sexual services or an advertisement for conversion therapy, or computer data as defined in subsection 342.1(2) that makes child pornography, the voyeuristic recording, the intimate image, the advertisement of sexual services or the advertisement for conversion therapy available, the court shall order that the electronic copy be returned to the custodian of the computer system and terminate the order under paragraph (1)(b).

  • Marginal note:Other provisions to apply

    (8) Subsections 164(6) to (8) apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, to this section.

  • Marginal note:When order takes effect

    (9) No order made under subsections (5) to (7) takes effect until the time for final appeal has expired.

  • 2002, c. 13, s. 7
  • 2005, c. 32, s. 9
  • 2014, c. 25, ss. 7, 46, c. 31, s. 5
  • 2021, c. 24, s. 2
 

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