In October 2017, LEAF made a submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights concerning Bill C-51 and the reform of Canadian sexual assault law.

LEAF supported many of Parliament’s steps to reform sexual assault provisions in the Criminal Code. The reforms would help protect women from sexual violence and eliminate discriminatory myths and stereotypes from sexual assault trials.

However, LEAF had significant concerns about the proposed additions of s. 273.1(2)(a.1) and s. 273.1(2)(b), and s. 153.1(3)(a.1) and s. 153.1(3)(b).

As explained in the submission, these provisions added no new protections for sexual assault complainants. They risked jeopardizing the law’s protection for intoxicated women who are assaulted while incapable of consenting due to intoxication.

LEAF urged the Standing Committee to ensure that the changes were not drafted in a way that could make women vulnerable to predatory sexual behavior and sexual violence. In particular, LEAF proposed drafting that would clarify that no person can consent unless she is capable of making a free and voluntary decision, reasonably informed by the nature of the act and the risks associated with that act, and aware of her right to decline participation.

Read and download LEAF’s submission below.