290. Bigamy

290. (1) Every one commits bigamy who

(a) in Canada,

(i) being married, goes through a form of marriage with another person,

(ii) knowing that another person is married, goes through a form of marriage with that person, or

(iii) on the same day or simultaneously, goes through a form of marriage with more than one person; or

(b) being a Canadian citizen resident in Canada leaves Canada with intent to do anything mentioned in subparagraphs (a)(i) to (iii) and, pursuant thereto, does outside Canada anything mentioned in those subparagraphs in circumstances mentioned therein.

Matters of defence

(2) No person commits bigamy by going through a form of marriage if

(a) that person in good faith and on reasonable grounds believes that his spouse is dead;

(b) the spouse of that person has been continuously absent from him for seven years immediately preceding the time when he goes through the form of marriage, unless he knew that his spouse was alive at any time during those seven years;

(c) that person has been divorced from the bond of the first marriage; or

(d) the former marriage has been declared void by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Incompetency no defence

(3) Where a person is alleged to have committed bigamy, it is not a defence that the parties would, if unmarried, have been incompetent to contract marriage under the law of the place where the offence is alleged to have been committed.

Validity presumed

(4) Every marriage or form of marriage shall, for the purpose of this section, be deemed to be valid unless the accused establishes that it was invalid.

Act or omission by accused

(5) No act or omission on the part of an accused who is charged with bigamy invalidates a marriage or form of marriage that is otherwise valid.

R.S., c. C-34, s. 254.

Criminal Code of Canada