section 174(2)


The section defines a person as nude if their clothing offends public decency or order.


174(2) For the purposes of this section, a person is nude who is so clad as to offend against public decency or order.


Section 174(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada defines the term "nude" for the purposes of section 174, which deals with the criminal offence of committing an indecent act in a public place. This section is aimed at preventing behaviour that could be considered offensive to public decency or order. According to section 174(2), a person is considered to be "nude" if they are dressed in a manner that would offend against public decency or order. This means that it is not necessary for a person to be completely naked in order to be considered "nude" under this section. Rather, it is the context in which the person is dressed that determines whether they are considered to be committing an indecent act. The purpose of this section is to provide guidelines for determining what type of behaviour is considered indecent in public places. By defining the term "nude" in this way, the Criminal Code of Canada seeks to protect the public from behaviour that could be offensive or disruptive to the community. This is important for maintaining social order and ensuring that everyone can feel safe and secure in public places. Overall, section 174(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an important provision for maintaining public decency and order. By providing clarity around what types of behaviour are considered indecent, this section helps to ensure that everyone can enjoy public spaces without fear of offending or being offended.


Section 174(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is an essential provision for regulating public decency and order. It gives a definition of what the term 'nude' means, which can be useful for determining indecent exposure in public areas. The section states that a person is nude if they are so clad as to offend against public decency or order. This definition provides a subjective standard by which to gauge the offensiveness of a person's clothing or lack thereof, depending on circumstances such as the location or whether children are present. The wording of this section allows for flexibility in examining whether such clothing or lack thereof meets the standard for being considered offensive and a threat to public decency and order. It permits authorities such as police and judicial officers to apply their judgment when deciding on the nature of a particular case and if the individual has violated the law. The provision's wording implies that the clothes may not necessarily need to be entirely off for the offence to have occurred. A person who wears an outfit that barely has an ounce of fabric that can hardly cover their primary sexual organs can also violate this provision. This provision can help ensure that the law protects public decency and order in public places. It can also help to ensure that everyone can move and interact in public spaces without feeling threatened, offended, or subjected to any indecent and lewd conduct. The discretion afforded to the authorities implementing this provision is crucial in preventing people from getting arrested or prosecuted for minor dress code violations that don't mistreat, offend or threaten physical harm to others. This provision effectively prohibits nudity in public places and the exposure of private parts of the body. It certainly does not prohibit someone from wearing a bikini or briefs at the beach or legitimate naturists from sunbathing at designated sites. Although the provision may subjectively seem too broad, the Canadian courts have repeatedly upheld its constitutionality, and it has been helpful in regulating indecent exposure in public areas. It is worth emphasizing that the provision only targets indecent exposure and does not seek to curtail the freedom of expression. The provision does not mean to infringe on people's constitutional rights such as association and expression by regulating clothing choices, so long as decency is not violated. In conclusion, Section 174(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a critical provision to ensure public decency and order in public places. Its wording affords authorities, particularly the police and the courts, the flexibility to make subjective evaluations of indecent exposure cases, ensuring that the regulation of nudity and similar conduct promotes essential public interests without unduly espousing on personal rights and freedoms.


Section 174(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada is a contentious provision that implicates issues of public decency and morality. This provision raises important questions about what constitutes nudity, and how far the law should go in regulating people's behavior in public spaces. When dealing with this section, there are a number of strategic considerations that should be taken into account. One strategy that could be employed when dealing with section 174(2) is to challenge the constitutionality of the provision. This can be done by arguing that the provision violates the right to freedom of expression, which is protected by section 2(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In order to be successful, however, such a challenge would need to demonstrate that the provision is overly broad or vague, or that it interferes with expressive activity in a way that is not justified in a free and democratic society. Another strategy that could be employed is to engage in advocacy and education efforts aimed at changing societal attitudes and norms about nudity. This could involve working with community groups and individuals to raise awareness about the harms of criminalizing nudity, and to promote acceptance and tolerance of different forms of self-expression. By changing public perceptions and attitudes about nudity, it may be possible to make section 174(2) less relevant or less enforceable in practice. A third strategy that could be employed is to work collaboratively with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to develop guidelines and best practices for enforcing section 174(2) in a way that is consistent with human rights and civil liberties. This may involve engaging in constructive dialogue and consultation with prosecutors, police officers, and other stakeholders, and providing them with training and resources to better understand the complexities and nuances of the provision. Ultimately, the most effective strategy when dealing with section 174(2) will depend on the particular circumstances and context in which the provision is being enforced. However, regardless of the strategy employed, it is important to recognize that section 174(2) raises significant legal, ethical, and social issues that require careful consideration and analysis. By engaging in thoughtful and strategic advocacy efforts, it may be possible to create a more just and equitable legal framework that respects the rights and dignity of all individuals.