Minimum Age for Criminal Conviction in Canada

Criminal Law Specialist Patrick Ducharme
Criminal Law Specialist Patrick Ducharme

In Canada, the minimum age for a criminal conviction is twelve.

Section 13 of the Criminal Code of Canada (“the Code”) provides that no person shall be convicted of an offence while that person was under the age of 12. Age is measured by chronological age and not according to intellectual capacity.1 Although the Code exempts a child from criminal liability, an adult may still be found to be a party to an offence committed by someone less than 12 years of age.2


1 R. v. Sawchuk, (1991), 66 CCC (3d) 255 [1991] 5 WWR 381 (MBCA)

2 R. v. D. (R.C.), 1991 Carswell Ont 2215

This is a short excerpt from Patrick Ducharme’s book, 2018 Criminal Practice and Procedure, which is scheduled to be printed by April 30, 2018.

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