CLAIRMONT: 125-Year-Old Criminal Code Backwards, Progressive and Amusing

Document Type

Media Mention

Publication Date


Source Publication

Hamilton Spectator


"This Act shall come into force on the first day of July, 1893."

Thus begins the first edition of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Here it sits, on my desk, a broken, dirty, tattered copy, published in 1892.

It is a thing of beauty

Here's the back story. The Spectator has its own library in our newsroom, for the exclusive use of our journalists. There are a million treasures in there: old maps, 150-year-old Vernon's Directories, clipping files of Hamilton's biggest murder cases …

There are also things that have outlived their usefulness: a 1985 travel guide to Barcelona; a gazillion dictionaries.

This week, librarian Tammie Danciu did some housekeeping. She handed me the 2017 copy of Martin's Criminal Code (every Crown walks into court with one) to keep at my desk. I told her if she happened to find an older copy, I'd be interested in that too.