Infographic: The Criminal Code of Canada

Infographic: The Criminal Code of Canada
Long description

The Criminal Code is a federal law that includes definitions on most of the criminal offences that the Parliament of Canada has enacted. It is often updated as society evolves and to improve the Canadian criminal process.

The Criminal Code includes a wide range of crimes, such as murder, assault, theft and fraud.

Did You Know

The Criminal Code:
is also known as An Act respecting the Criminal Law

  • is called a code because it “codifies” most criminal offences and procedures in Canada (in law terms, this means collecting and restating the law of a jurisdiction in certain areas, usually by subject, forming a legal code)
  • was first created in 1892
  • is 300,000 words long
  • is available in 4 formats:
    • Braille
    • HTML
    • XML
    • PDF
  • is 1,266 pages in both English and French
  • is applied all across the country
  • is updated regularly to reflect changes in society
  • is divided into multiple parts and
    • defines conduct that constitutes criminal offences;
    • includes rules that set out how people can be guilty of crimes if they help or encourage others to commit crimes, and rules for how corporations and others organizations can be found guilty of crimes;
    • sets out some defences that a person can raise if they are charged;
    • establishes the kind and degree of punishment that may be imposed on someone convicted of an offence; and
    • describes the powers and procedures to be followed for investigation and prosecution of an offence.
  • defines offences, including ones categorized as
    • offences against the person
    • offences against property
    • offences against the administration of law and justice
    • sexual offences
    • terrorism offences
    • hate propaganda offences
  • numerous parts, forms and templates provide for
    • warrants (such as search and arrest)
    • summons
    • convictions
    • orders
    • authorizations
    • applications
    • statements (such as victims impact statements)
To find the latest version of the Criminal Code and more information about it, visit