Today, LEAF, along with feminist law professors with expertise in sexual assault law, wrote to the Minister of Justice with respect to the proposed changes to the sexual assault provisions of the Criminal Code, in Bill C-51, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Department of Justice Act and to make consequential amendments to another Act.

LEAF is broadly supportive of the changes that strengthen the rape shield provisions, and is hopeful that the provisions hold the potential to improve the criminal law’s response to sexual assault, to reduce discrimination within the trial process, and to enhance women’s equality rights. Nonetheless, it is unfortunate that LEAF was not consulted prior to the bill’s tabling, given its three decades of work to improve sexual assault law in Canada.

LEAF urged the Minister to remove from the bill s 273.2(a.1) and s 273.2(b). LEAF and the letter’s signatories are concerned that this addition could be misread by defence lawyers and judges as suggesting that the bright line for incapacity to consent is total unconsciousness.

You can read the letter here 2017-06-08 letter to Justice Minister re C-51