This website is intended to provide an online source of Canadian sexual assault legislation from 1900 through to 2000.
The Criminal Code, 1892 is also included because it was the first Criminal Code passed in Canada. The legislation is provided in two different
formats: organized by year to allow researchers to examine Canadian sexual assault law in its entirety on a yearly basis, and organized by offence to
allow researchers to trace the history of individual sexual assault offences over time.
Only legislation relating to sexual assault has been included on this website. Some provisions may contain subsections
that are unrelated to sexual assault, and these unrelated subsections have been omitted. Where such portions of the legislation have been omitted,
an ellipsis will be used to signify the change: [...].
An Explanation of the Statutes of Canada and the Revised Statutes of Canada
The sources of the legislation provided on this site are the Statutes of Canada and the Revised Statutes of Canada.
The Statutes of Canada (cited throughout the site as "S.C.") are annual volumes which contain all of the legislation passed by the Government of
Canada in a given year. The Revised Statutes of Canada (cited throughout as "R.S.C.") are compilations of all of the federal legislation that is
in force in a given year. The Revised Statutes of Canada are not annual volumes like the Statutes of Canada. Rather, there are only
certain years in which an edition of the Revised Statutes of Canada was released, and the years relevant for the purposes of this website are 1906,
1927, 1952, 1970, and 1985.
The Criminal Code was originally passed in 1892 and can be found in the 1892 volume of the Statutes of Canada.
Subsequent amendments to the Criminal Code also appear in the Statutes of Canada, and each amendment can be found in the volume of the year
in which it was passed by the government. The 1906, 1927, 1970 and 1985 editions of the Revised Statutes of Canada each contain a full version
of the Criminal Code as it existed in each of those years. The 1952 edition of the Revised Statutes of Canada did not contain a full
version of the Criminal Code, because the Criminal Code was being rewritten and was not yet complete. As a result, a full version of the
Criminal Code can be found in the 1953-54 Statutes of Canada.
The Format of References
The citation of the original legislation has been provided, and the citation format used is drawn from the McGill Law Journal's
Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 6th ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 2006).
The citation of legislation is provided in the following format: the title of the Act, the year of the Revised Statutes of Canada or the Statutes
of Canada, and lastly the number of the chapter in which the legislation is found. For example, the 1970 Criminal Code, found in chapter C-34
of the 1970 version of the Revised Statutes of Canada, is cited as follows: Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34. Specific provisions are
cited down to the section number. For example, the offence of rape can be found in section 143 in chapter C-34 of the 1970 Revised Statutes of
Canada, and would be cited as follows: Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34, s. 143.
References and Marginal Notes in the Original Legislation
There are also references that can be found within the original legislation itself. These are usually found at the end of a
provision, and they refer to the source of the previous incarnation of that specific provision. These references are usually in the following format: the
year or years of the volume of legislation containing the previous version of the provision, followed by the chapter number, and then the section number.
For example, if "1953-54, c. 51, s. 135" is written at the end of a provision, it means that the previous version of the provision can be found in section
135 in chapter 51 of the 1953-54 Statutes of Canada.
Sometimes, instead of indicating a year, only the letters "R.S." or "R.S.C." appear. This is a reference to the previous
Revised Statutes of Canada rather than a volume of the Statutes of Canada. For example, if a provision in the 1985 Criminal Code
is followed by "R.S., c. C-34, s. 167," this means that the previous version of the provision can be found in section 167 of chapter C-34 in the preceding
Revised Statutes of Canada, which is the 1970 edition.
These references to previous legislation may also appear in a different format, usually in the earlier versions of the
Criminal Code and amendments. This other format consists of a range of numbers followed by a letter, such as "57-58 V." The letter indicates the
reigning monarch at the time the volume of legislation was released, and the numbers indicate the year of that monarch's reign. The example given above
indicates that the volume was released in the 57th year of Queen Victoria's reign. This format of citation would be indicated
on the volume of legislation along with the first method explained above, which indicates the actual year that the legislation was released. This second
method of citation is not as popular as it was in the past. Citing the year of the release of the Statutes of Canada or Revised Statutes of
Canada is more common, and arguably more convenient for research purposes since the year is clearly stated. Please see the
Citation section for the names of the monarchs who reigned during the time span covered by this website, and the corresponding
abbreviations of their names.
The Criminal Code, S.C. 1953-54, c. 51 was a major reworking of the Criminal Code and does not include references
to previous versions of the legislation, even though the same or similar provisions may have existed in previous versions of the Criminal
Code. The Legislation Organized by Offence section may be helpful in tracking the history of a provision
that appears in the 1953-54 Criminal Code without any reference to prior versions of the legislation.
In the original legislation, marginal notes were provided by the drafters of the legislation to indicate the contents of each
provision. These marginal notes have been included in the legislation on this website. They can be found immediately before a provision in square
The McGill Law Journal's Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation, 5th ed. (Toronto: Carswell, 2006) is a helpful
resource to consult if there are any lingering questions regarding the format of citations or references found in this website or in the original
legislation which have not been addressed by this explanation. The sixth edition of the book has now been released, but the citations found in this
website are based on the format outlined in the fifth edition.