Magazine article Herizons

Rape Shield Repair Bill Introduced

Magazine article Herizons

Rape Shield Repair Bill Introduced

Article excerpt

An omnibus bill tabled by federal Justice Minister Wilson Jody WilsonRaybould in June will give rape victims a stronger legal standing when judges consider whether to allow their personal records to be used in court to undermine their testimony as witnesses.

It's expected to strengthen the legal standing of sexual assault survivors in court and many say it may have helped the complainant at the centre of the 2016 sexual assault trial of former radio host Jian Ghomeshi. In that case, complainant Lucy DeCoutere said she was taken off guard when personal letters and emails were introduced as evidence to discredit her. The judge in the case deemed DeCoutere's testimony unreliable and dismissed the charges against Ghomeshi.

Under the new bill, victims would have a right to know what third-party records, including personal letters, are being sought as evidence at voir dire hearings, held to determine the admissibility of such evidence. …

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