Criminal Code (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46)

Act current to 2015-06-17 and last amended on 2015-04-10. Previous Versions

Blasphemous Libel

Marginal note:Offence
  •  (1) Every one who publishes a blasphemous libel is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

  • Marginal note:Question of fact

    (2) It is a question of fact whether or not any matter that is published is a blasphemous libel.

  • Marginal note:Saving

    (3) No person shall be convicted of an offence under this section for expressing in good faith and in decent language, or attempting to establish by argument used in good faith and conveyed in decent language, an opinion on a religious subject.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 260.

Defamatory Libel

Definition of “newspaper”

 In sections 303, 304 and 308, “newspaper” means any paper, magazine or periodical containing public news, intelligence or reports of events, or any remarks or observations thereon, printed for sale and published periodically or in parts or numbers, at intervals not exceeding thirty-one days between the publication of any two such papers, parts or numbers, and any paper, magazine or periodical printed in order to be dispersed and made public, weekly or more often, or at intervals not exceeding thirty-one days, that contains advertisements, exclusively or principally.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 261.
Marginal note:Definition
  •  (1) A defamatory libel is matter published, without lawful justification or excuse, that is likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or that is designed to insult the person of or concerning whom it is published.

  • Marginal note:Mode of expression

    (2) A defamatory libel may be expressed directly or by insinuation or irony

    • (a) in words legibly marked on any substance; or

    • (b) by any object signifying a defamatory libel otherwise than by words.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 262.
Marginal note:Publishing

 A person publishes a libel when he

  • (a) exhibits it in public;

  • (b) causes it to be read or seen; or

  • (c) shows or delivers it, or causes it to be shown or delivered, with intent that it should be read or seen by the person whom it defames or by any other person.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 263.
Marginal note:Punishment of libel known to be false

 Every one who publishes a defamatory libel that he knows is false is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.

  • R.S., c. C-34, s. 264.