From Criminal Law Notebook

Older Updates

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December 15, 2022

Two new offences relating to trafficking in human organs came into force.

November 17, 2022

Amendments come into force that removes minimum jail sentences for various firearms, weapons and drug trafficking-related offences and expands conditional sentence eligibility to include most previously ineligible offences. It also introduced Part I.1 to the CDSA, which directs police and Crown to consider non-criminal options for all drug possession offences.

October 28, 2022

Supreme Court of Canada in R v Ndhlovu, 2022 SCC 38 (CanLII), per Karakatsanis and Martin JJ strikes down the provisions requiring offenders convicted of multiple sexual offences to be put on the sexual offender registry for life. The law violated s. 7 of the Charter for being "overbroad".

June 30, 2022

Supreme Court of Canada in R v JJ, 2022 SCC 28 (CanLII), per Wagner CJ and Moldaver J upholds the constitutionality of the statutory protections to complainants' personal information found in s. 278.92 to 278.94 of the Code.

June 23, 2022

Amendments coming into force rewriting s. 33.1 of the Code concerning the extreme intoxication defence for certain violent offences.

May 27, 2022

Supreme Court of Canada in R v Bissonnette, 2022 SCC 23 (CanLII), per Wagner CJ declares s. 745.51 of the Code unconstitutional, removing the statutory requirement that the periods of parole ineligibility for multiple murders be served consecutively.

May 13, 2022

Supreme Court of Canada in R v Sullivan, 2022 SCC 19, per Kasirer J declares s. 33.1 of the Code unconstitutional, removing the statutory prohibition against self-induced intoxication defences for certain offences.

January 16, 2022

Amendments creating a new offences relating to impeding health care services came into force.

January 7, 2022

Amendments creating new offences relating to conversion therapy came into force.

May 6, 2021

An amendment, adding s. 278.98 to the Criminal Code, came into force.

April 8, 2021

Feature Update: Look up offences quickly using the "Quick Access" link on the Navigation sidebar.

May 8, 2020

Feature Update: Quotations from most legislation now include an option to note up the provision on CanLII.

May 1, 2020

Government adds to Regulation SOR/98-462 deeming a list of over 1,000 firearms to be prohibited.

April 2, 2020

Supreme Court of Canada releases R v Friesen, 2020 SCC 9 (CanLII), per Wagner C.J. and Rowe J that provides detailed guidance on sentencing for child sexual offence including the need to increase penalties.

December 18, 2019

The last portion of bill C-75 is now in force. It includes major changes to the detention and release provisions.

September 19, 2019

A large portion of bill C-75 is now in force, including removal of preliminary inquiries for certain indictable offences.

June 21, 2019

Bill C-75 given royal asset. This bill adopts the Antic decision broadening bail, reduces the amount of court order breach prosecutions, removes pre-emptory challenges in jury trials, expands penalty for summary election offences, removes preliminary inquiry on certain eligible offences, removes certain unconstitutional provisions, and other changes. Most provisions come into force 90 and 180 days later. [1]

December 18, 2018

Bill C-46 on "Conveyances" affecting Criminal Code offences relating to driving, including drug impairment, has now come into force.

December 14, 2018

The Supreme Court of Canada in R v Boudreault, 2018 SCC 58 (CanLII), [2018] 3 SCR 599, per Martin J, finds mandatory imposition of victim fine surcharges on persons convicted of crime was found invalid as "cruel and unusual" punishment.

December 13, 2018

An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act has come into force. It removes and modifies numerous provisions of the Code, including unconstitutional provisions, sexual assault provisions, and some rules of evidence.

October 10, 2018

The "Discussion" tabs for each article can now be editted anonymously. Any constructive feedback on articles would be appreciated.

June 21, 2018

Bills C-45 and C-46 are given royal assent relating to marijuana decriminalization and new offences relating to drug impaired driving. Most provisions will not come into force until October and December 2018.

January 1, 2018

Happy 2018, everyone! Thanks too to those who have provided feedback and support.

December 8, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada releases R v Marakah, 2017 SCC 59 (CanLII) extending privacy rights to communications when found on a recipient's electronic device.

October 8, 2017

Search results now sourced by Google, making for much easier access to relevant articles.

June 14, 2017

Senate Releases their report, "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied" on court delays in criminal matters.

April 20, 2017

The comment function in the "Discussion" tab of each article is now available for reporting errors. Unrelated postings will be deleted.

February 29, 2017

Supreme Court of Canada releases court case statistics from 2006 to 2016. Over that period of time 41% of appeals heard were criminal cases.

February 21, 2017

Statistics Canada udpates national criminal case statistics. It includes information such as the frequency of convictions, frequency of penalties, and length of time to complete cases.

January 1, 2017

Happy 2017! This website is now averaging about 34,000 pageviews a month. An impressive increase from previous years.

July 8, 2016

The Supreme Court releases R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27 (CanLII), [2016] 1 SCR 631, that created a new framework for calculating whether an accused's matter was brought to court in a timely manner.

April 15, 2016

The Supreme Court releases R v Lloyd, 2016 SCC 13 (CanLII), [2016] 1 SCR 130 which rules that some mandatory minimum penalties for drug trafficking under s. 5(3) of the CDSA are unconstitutional. R v Safarzadeh-Markhali, 2016 SCC 14 (CanLII), [2016] 1 SCR 180 is also released, which rules that s. 719(3.1) restricting enhanced credit for pre-trial custody is unconstitutional.

April 3, 2016

This website was migrated to a new service provider with increased user performance.

July 23, 2015

The Victims Bill of Rights and related Acts (Bill C-32) comes into force. It creates greater entitlements to victims to participate and be informed of criminal proceedings. As well it amends several parts of the Criminal Code relating to victims.

July 17, 2015

The Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act (Bill C-26) comes into force. The Act increases mandatory minimums on sex offences involving children and creates a public database of child sex offenders under the High Risk Child Sex Offender Database Act. Additionally, Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act comes into force, criminalizing certain exploitative practices relating to children.

April 14, 2015

The Supreme Court releases R v Nur, 2015 SCC 15 (CanLII), [2015] 1 SCR 773, which rules that certain mandatory minimum penalties under s. 91(2) are unconstitutional.

March 9, 2015

The Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act (Bill C-13) comes into force. The Act creates the offence of Distribution of Intimate Images, refurbishes other telecommunication offences, and redrafts the provisions relating to the production orders and accessing digital records.

December 11, 2014

The Supreme Court in R v Fearon, 2014 SCC 77 (CanLII), [2014] 3 SCR 621 affirms a common law police power to perform limited searches of cellphones incident to arrest without a warrant.

December 6, 2014

Criminal Code amendments removing procuring offences (s. 212), creating Commodification of Sexual Services (s. 286.1-4), and other related amendments in response to Canada v Bedford, 2013 SCC 72 (CanLII), [2013] 3 SCR 1101 are now in force.

July 31, 2014

The Supreme Court in R v Hart, 2014 SCC 52 (CanLII), [2014] 2 SCR 544 limits the use of confessions arising from "Mr. Big" undercover operations by ruling them presumptively inadmissible.

June 13, 2014

The Supreme Court in R v Spencer, 2014 SCC 43 (CanLII), [2014] 2 SCR 212, states that subscriber information held by Internet Service Providers are subject to an expectation of privacy and can only be obtained by police through a production order.

April 11, 2014

The trilogy of cases of R v Clarke, 2014 SCC 28 (CanLII), R v Carvery, 2014 SCC 27 (CanLII), [2014] 1 SCR 605, and R v Summers, 2014 SCC 26 (CanLII), [2014] 1 SCR 575 are released by the Supreme Court of Canada, affirming that the loss of remission in remand will justify 1.5:1 credit at sentencing.

December 20, 2013

The SCC releases the decision of Bedford v Canada, 2013 SCC 72 (CanLII), [2013] 3 SCR 1101 striking down ss. 213(1)(c), 212(1)(j), and 210 of the Criminal Code.

October 24, 2013

The Increasing Offenders’ Accountability for Victims Act comes into force requiring victim fine surcharges for all convictions. The fines would be 30% of any fine order, or at least $100 or $200 depending on election.

March 11, 2013

The Citizen's Arrest and Self-Defence Act comes into force. This re-writes the self-defence provisions under s. 34 to 42 as well as the citizen's arrest provision under s. 494.

April 27, 2013

A divided Supreme Court in R v TELUS Communications Co, 2013 SCC 1 (CanLII)], [2013] 2 SCR 3 finds that an anticipatory search warrant to seize prospective text messages stored by a service provider amounts to a Part VI wiretap.

November 20, 2012

The remaining parts of the Safe Streets and Communities Act comes into force, most notably the removal of a number of offences from eligibility for a conditional sentence.

August 9, 2012

The Safe Streets and Communities Act provisions regarding penalties for sexual offences against children come into force.