The Purpose and Scope Of The Criminal Code of Canada

Dennis Reeve, criminal lawyer with the Newmarket firm of Hobson & Reeve, explains the purpose and scope of the Criminal Code of Canada.

We live in a society where we are free to do what we want, subject to some prescribed limitations and restrictions. As a society we set limits of acceptable conduct in the interest of maintaining a safe and peaceful society. We prohibit acts of violence, theft or fraud, certain sexual behaviours and so on.

Some prohibited acts are, of course, more serious than others. The less serious matters are controlled by regulation and there are thousands of regulations pertaining to business conduct and personal conduct. Some of these regulations include safety regulations for such things as food production, driving on roadways and so on. There are also lots of regulations that keep things orderly like municipal by-laws for parking tickets.

The most serious matters are controlled by the Criminal Code. Generally these matters involve conduct that causes harm to others and that are considered to be serious enough to warrant the stigma of a criminal record and punishments, such as confinement and removal from society. The Criminal Code is enacted by the Parliament of Canada and applies to the entire country. If an act is prohibited in the Criminal Code, performing that act is a crime. Strictly speaking, if it’s not in the Criminal Code, it’s not a crime.

If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Newmarket, Ontario Region, contact Hobson & Reeve Barrsiters for a consultation.

This article is taken from an Aug 4, 2011 interview with Dennis Reeve, Criminal Lawyer with Hobson & Reeve Barristers, an Newmarket, Ontario Criminal Law Firm. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.