With MPs poised to send the Trudeau government’s controversial proposed sexual assault law reforms to the Senate with only a few changes, the defence bar is hoping its constitutional red flags will get more attention from the chamber of “sober second thought.”

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In supporting the amendment Nov. 8, the Conservatives’ deputy justice critic Michael Cooper told MPs: “I have significant concerns about the changes to the Criminal Code with respect to the application process for defendants who have records related to the complainant — I think there are real distinctions between that scenario and records that are in the hands of third parties, which is why I voted against the previous clause. But at the very least, I believe there is absolutely no reason why one would have to go through the application process in the case of a witness.”

The Edmonton litigator also told committee members after testimony on Bill C-51 by Ottawa criminal lawyer Michael Spratt last month that “I agree with Mr. Spratt when he stated that the reverse disclosure requirements for the defence could potentially tip the hand of [the defence to] a liar, who would then be given an opportunity, as a result of sitting in and getting access to those records, and have an understanding of the defence’s litigation strategy to explain away inconsistencies and contradictions.”

Read the Full article: Lawyer’s Daily

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