Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Criminal Negligence Definition:

Reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.

Related Terms: Gross Negligence

From Canada's Criminal Code, ¶219:

"Every one is criminally negligent who in doing anything, or in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do, shows wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons."

The Canadian Judicial Council's standard set of jury instructions includes this extract on topic:

"The Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused's conduct showed a marked departure from the conduct of a reasonable person in the circumstances; and that a reasonable person in the same circumstances would have foreseen that this conduct posed a risk of bodily harm.

"Bodily harm is any hurt or injury that interferes with a person's health or comfort and is more than brief or minor. In deciding what a reasonable person would have done or foreseen, you must not take into account (the accused's) individual characteristics or experiences."

In the field of tort law, conduct tantamount to criminal negligence may give rise to an action alleging gross negligence.

Categories & Topics:

Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only)

If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!