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HuffPO: Ghomeshi Trial: Experts Warn Sex Assault Convictions Notoriously Hard To Secure

March 24, 2016 — 

In reporting on the Jian Ghomesh trial, the Canadian Press story published in Huffington Post quoted the expertise of Law professor Karen Busby:

“There are two problems with Canadian sexual assault law — one is proof beyond a reasonable doubt and that’s not going to change,” said University of Manitoba law professor Karen Busby. “The other problem is continuing reluctance of some judges to resist the law reform efforts made in the 90s.”

Those reform efforts included changing the definition of consent in sexual assault cases so that consent has to be “contemporaneous and continuous,” as well as changes on the use of personal records and past sexual history in such cases, said Busby.

Some judges, however, still fall back on sexual stereotypes, said Busby, citing the recent case of an Alberta judge who suggested to a complainant that she ought to have kept her knees together, prompting a formal complaint.

“As long as judges are willing to disbelieve women and continue to rely on sexual stereotypes, cases that in my view should be open-and-shut cases, won’t be.”

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