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The Ghomeshi Trial Is Still Transforming Canada’s Sex Assault Laws

A lot has happened in the five years since Jian Ghomeshi was first accused of choking and punching women on dates. He was acquitted of five criminal charges in March 2016, settled another charge with a public apology, kept a low profile for a year or so while the sexual assault discourse moved on to higher profile allegations, then attempted two absolutely cringeworthycomebacks.


The so-called Ghomeshi rules have been met with both confusion and controversy, as critics say surprise is an important element in testing truth and accuracy. Ottawa lawyer Michael Spratt says the application process allows complainants to write off inconsistencies before they are questioned under oath. “It gives an inaccurate or untruthful witness an opportunity to receive that information and explain it away,” he said.

Spratt, who mostly represents defendants, says that laws written in response to public outcry on a single case are bound to cause trouble. “That leads to bad legislation,” he said. “A law that is reactionary to high profile events doesn’t receive the appropriate amount of study.”


Read Sarah Berman’s full article: Vice

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