Canada Will Now Prosecute Crimes Committed On The Moon

Daniel Mitchell-Benoit
Unsplash | The New York Public Library

Would you believe that, until now, Canada's law system didn't have a proper way to handle any potential crimes that happened in space?

It's a weird thought, especially considering the country's large role in many space-exploration endeavors, but maybe it wasn't something they'd ever considered before. Regardless of the reason, it's a non-issue now, as they recently made an update to their Criminal Code addressing just this.

Canada made a recent surprising change to its Criminal Code.

The moon.
Unsplash | Andrew Russian

This update gives them the power to prosecute crimes committed while the perpetrators are on the moon.

This is a further extension of their previous jurisdiction over crimes committed by Canadian astronauts aboard the ISS.

Those crimes and any potential moon crimes will be treated as if they were committed in Canada.

The ISS.
Unsplash | NASA

It seems they made this change as the number of space flights will be increasing in the near future. One in particular likely pushed this issue forward, that being the first crewed mission to the moon in over 50 years that's set to take place in May of 2024.

One Canadian astronaut will be aboard that flight.

A gavel.
Pexels | Sora Shimazaki

And the country just wants to make sure it has its bases covered should it be discovered that they're not down for following the law.

The amendment reads, "A Canadian crew member who, during a space flight, commits an act or omission outside Canada that if committed in Canada would constitute an indictable offence is deemed to have committed that act or omission in Canada."

This covers a lot more than just crimes on the moon, actually.

Unsplash | The New York Public Library

It covers crimes committed en route to or aboard the NASA-led Lunar Gateway station that's currently being built to orbit the moon.

Any other astronauts who "threaten the life or security of a Canadian crew member" could also be prosecuted under this code.

While it doesn't affect a good 99% of us, it's still fascinating to learn about.

The moon in a blue sky.
Unsplash | Navi

We can all sleep soundly now knowing that any space crimes will be properly dealt with. In Canada, anyway. This also dashes the plans of any rascal who thought he could escape earth's atmosphere to get away with whatever nefarious deeds they had in mind.

h/t: The New Arab