Finding the History of a Section of the Canadian Criminal Code

This was adapted from a discussion on the CALL listserv; many thanks to Jenny Thornhill, Bronwyn Guiton and Alexandra Everitt.

Unfortunately there is no easy tool that will allow you easily track the changes to a specific section of the Criminal Code over the years, but the following two resources may be helpful:

  • Martin’s Online Criminal Code includes versions of the Criminal Code from 1955 on and is searchable.
  • Crankshaw’s Criminal Code of Canada is available both in print and online through Westlaw Canada. Bronwyn Guiton noted that “Crankshaw’s isn’t always reliable in bridging major changes in provisions however and so some work may be needed to verify your findings. For example, it doesn’t do a good job of telling the reader that prior to sexual assault, the prior equivalent provision referred to the same offence as something else. That’s where the concordance/historical table comes in.”

Susannah Tredwell

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