Sexual Assault Law Updates: Collusion, Burden of Proof and Proper Analysis

“Inadvertent Collusion” Is To Be Avoided… As A Phrase.
On November 16, 2021 the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a new trial in R. v. C.G. , 2021 ONCA 809 on a number of grounds. The trial judge had accepted the Crownʼs submission that defence witnesses had “inadvertently colluded” with each other on their evidence. This can happen where people who are friends or family of the accused are witness to some or part of the events.
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: The Balancing Of Interests and The Tilting Of Scales

On October 5th and 6th, 2021, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in R. v. J.J. challenging the constitutionality of the new “reverse disclosure” legislation created by Bill C-51 in 2018. The entire records screening regime is subject of the appeal and cross-appeal, primarily focusing on the treatment of non-sexual records in the possession of the accused…
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: “Bad Reasons” Are Not A Ground of Appeal

The Courts of Appeal have responded quickly to the Supreme Court’s guidelines included in the May 14, 2021 decision of R. v. G.F. and R.B., 2021 SCC 20, citing the decision over twenty times within the first month of release.
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Supreme Court on Intoxication and Consent

On May 14, 2021 the Supreme Court of Canada delivered their decision in R. v. G.F. and R.B., 2021 SCC 20. This was a case involving a 16 year old complainant who, aer becoming intoxicated on a camping trip, testified that aer vomiting and passing out in a trailer belonging to a common-law couple, she awoke while being sexually assaulted by the man and woman.
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Sexual Stereotypes vs Logical Inferences

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently overturned acquittals in R. v. Steele, 2021 ONCA 186 finding that, yet again, myths about sexual assault victims had tainted the trial judge’s reasoning.
The two particular instances identified by the Crown involved speculation on why the complainant agreed to enter an abandoned trailer with the accused and why she lied about her whereabouts when her father called her cellphone.
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Motive and The “Forbidden Question” in Sexual Assault Trials

In the ​Kusk case, the Crown had asked the accused why the complainant would lie when the defence had not alleged a motive. The Court of Appeal overturned the conviction, denouncing the forbidden question as “beguiling” and pointing out that it reverses the onus of proof in such a subtle way that even experienced judges can fall prey to this “false train of reasoning.”
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: The Meaning of “Control” in Prostitution

Criminalizes a very broad range of conduct in circumstances where there may be no exploitative relationship between the seller and the person assisting him or her with advertising. However, the respondent did not challenge the constitutionality of the prohibition on advertising.
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: The Ongoing Error Of Credibility Contests

Since the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in R. v. J.J.R.D., [2006] O.J. No. 4749 there has been significant movement away from following the three step process for assessing testimony, as previously outlined in the Supreme Court’s 1991 decision in R. v. W.(D.)”
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Ontario No Longer Subject To New Rules

In August, during pre-trial applications in R. v. G.E. [2020] O.J. No. 4337, Justice Doody had commented “This would not be a complex case but for the complexity imposed by the procedural requirements of the Code and some uncertainties created thereby.”
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: The Subject Matter Of The Charge

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently issued a decision in R. v. M.R.S., 2020 ONCA 667 which took aim at how “narrative” evidence was submitted by the Crown which amounted to a volume of “similar fact” or bad character evidence at trial…..
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Improper Crown-Led Evidence Results In Overturned Sexual Assault Convictions

“You Don’t Get Points for Not Exaggerating” There has been increased scrutiny on Crown-led evidence in sexual assault trials since the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. Barton, 2019 SCC 33 and R. v. Goldfinch, 2019 SCC 38 that the Crown-led evidence of a sexual nature should be subjected to a voir dire….
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: New Rules of Evidence to be Challenged in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has granted leave to appeal in a BC case, R. v. J.J., 2020 BCSC 349, which found the seven day notice requirement in s. 278.93(4) of the Criminal Code violated s. 7 of the Charter and could not be saved under…
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Collusion, Burden of Proof and Proper Analysis

“Inadvertent Collusion” Is To Be Avoided… As A Phrase.
On November 16, 2021 the Ontario Court of Appeal ordered a new trial in R. v. C.G. , 2021 ONCA 809 on a number of grounds. The trial judge had accepted the Crownʼs submission that defence witnesses had “inadvertently colluded” with each other on their evidence. This can happen where people who are friends or family of the accused are witness to some or part of the events.
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: The Balancing Of Interests and The Tilting Of Scales

On October 5th and 6th, 2021, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in R. v. J.J. challenging the constitutionality of the new “reverse disclosure” legislation created by Bill C-51 in 2018. The entire records screening regime is subject of the appeal and cross-appeal, primarily focusing on the treatment of non-sexual records in the possession of the accused…
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: “Bad Reasons” Are Not A Ground of Appeal

The Courts of Appeal have responded quickly to the Supreme Court’s guidelines included in the May 14, 2021 decision of R. v. G.F. and R.B., 2021 SCC 20, citing the decision over twenty times within the first month of release.
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Supreme Court on Intoxication and Consent

On May 14, 2021 the Supreme Court of Canada delivered their decision in R. v. G.F. and R.B., 2021 SCC 20. This was a case involving a 16 year old complainant who, aer becoming intoxicated on a camping trip, testified that aer vomiting and passing out in a trailer belonging to a common-law couple, she awoke while being sexually assaulted by the man and woman.
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Sexual Stereotypes vs Logical Inferences

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently overturned acquittals in R. v. Steele, 2021 ONCA 186 finding that, yet again, myths about sexual assault victims had tainted the trial judge’s reasoning.
The two particular instances identified by the Crown involved speculation on why the complainant agreed to enter an abandoned trailer with the accused and why she lied about her whereabouts when her father called her cellphone.
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Motive and The “Forbidden Question” in Sexual Assault Trials

In the ​Kusk case, the Crown had asked the accused why the complainant would lie when the defence had not alleged a motive. The Court of Appeal overturned the conviction, denouncing the forbidden question as “beguiling” and pointing out that it reverses the onus of proof in such a subtle way that even experienced judges can fall prey to this “false train of reasoning.”
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: The Meaning of “Control” in Prostitution

criminalizes a very broad range of conduct in circumstances where there may be no exploitative relationship between the seller and the person assisting him or her with advertising. However, the respondent did not challenge the constitutionality of the prohibition on advertising.”
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: The Ongoing Error Of Credibility Contests

Since the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in R. v. J.J.R.D., [2006] O.J. No. 4749 there has been significant movement away from following the three step process for assessing testimony, as previously outlined in the Supreme Court’s 1991 decision in R. v. W.(D.)”
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Ontario No Longer Subject To New Rules

In August, during pre-trial applications in R. v. G.E. [2020] O.J. No. 4337, Justice Doody had commented “This would not be a complex case but for the complexity imposed by the procedural requirements of the Code and some uncertainties created thereby.”
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: The Subject Matter Of The Charge

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently issued a decision in R. v. M.R.S., 2020 ONCA 667 which took aim at how “narrative” evidence was submitted by the Crown which amounted to a volume of “similar fact” or bad character evidence at trial…..
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: Improper Crown-Led Evidence Results In Overturned Sexual Assault Convictions

“You Don’t Get Points for Not Exaggerating” There has been increased scrutiny on Crown-led evidence in sexual assault trials since the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in R. v. Barton, 2019 SCC 33 and R. v. Goldfinch, 2019 SCC 38 that the Crown-led evidence of a sexual nature should be subjected to a voir dire….
Read More

Sexual Assault Law Updates: New Rules of Evidence to be Challenged in the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has granted leave to appeal in a BC case, R. v. J.J., 2020 BCSC 349, which found the seven day notice requirement in s. 278.93(4) of the Criminal Code violated s. 7 of the Charter and could not be saved under…
Read More

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