Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Law Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 37

Full-Text Articles in Law

The Meaning Of Capacity And Consent In Sexual Assault: R. V. G.F., Isabel Grant, Janine Benedet Jan 2022

The Meaning Of Capacity And Consent In Sexual Assault: R. V. G.F., Isabel Grant, Janine Benedet

All Faculty Publications

The Criminal Code provisions dealing with sexual assault have been amended in a piecemeal fashion several times since the major reforms of 1982, which replaced the offences of rape and indecent assault with a three-tiered sexual assault offence. Many of these reforms were brought forward in response to particular judicial decisions that provoked controversy and concern. In most cases, new provisions were added without removing or amending related provisions already in place. What remains is a set of provisions that do not work together as a coherent whole.


Non-Consensual Condom Removal In Canadian Law Before And After R. V. Hutchinson, Isabel Grant, Lise Gotell Jan 2021

Non-Consensual Condom Removal In Canadian Law Before And After R. V. Hutchinson, Isabel Grant, Lise Gotell

All Faculty Publications

This paper examines the phenomenon of nonconsensual condom removal (NCCR) and its relationship to sexual assault in Canada. Using empirical studies and the insights of feminist theory, we explore the nature of the harms caused by NCCR and contend that this pervasive practice constitutes sexual assault. We then critique the decision of R v Hutchinson, which held that condom sabotage does not negate subjective consent, ignoring the dignitary harms of NCCR. While lower court decisions before Hutchinson recognized that consent to sex with a condom does not include consent to sex without, courts after Hutchinson have struggled to distinguish the …


Losing The Right To Assert You've Been Wronged: A Study In Conceptual Chaos?, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2020

Losing The Right To Assert You've Been Wronged: A Study In Conceptual Chaos?, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

All Faculty Scholarship

Doctrinally, both consent and estoppel seem to lack a conceptual core. If consent is the exercise of a normative power predicated on our autonomy interests, then sometimes what we call “consent” is not really consent. And if estoppel is about barring/stopping/hindering one’s ability to make a claim, but not about changing the underlying rights and duties themselves, then sometimes what courts deem to be estoppel is not really estoppel. Instead, consent has alternative normative groundings, and estoppel seems to be employed as the term by which courts can simply reach what they deem to be the fair or equitable result. …


The Complex Legacy Of R. V. Cuerrier: Hiv Nondisclosure Prosecutions And Their Impact On Sexual Assault Law, Isabel Grant Jan 2020

The Complex Legacy Of R. V. Cuerrier: Hiv Nondisclosure Prosecutions And Their Impact On Sexual Assault Law, Isabel Grant

All Faculty Publications

This article examines the impact of the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R. v. Cuerrier from two vantage points. First, the article examines the impact of the decision on HIV nondisclosure prosecutions. Second, it examines the damage done by Cuerrier to sexual assault law outside of the HIV context. The article argues that Cuerrier has both overcriminalized people living with HIV and distorted the law of sexual assault. Through Cuerrier, and subsequent cases, the Supreme Court of Canada has unduly limited the concept of consent and its voluntariness requirement, and distorted the concept of fraud such that deceptions around …


Does 'No, Not Without A Condom' Mean 'Yes, Even Without A Condom'?: The Fallout From R V Hutchinson, Lise Gotell, Isabel Grant Jan 2020

Does 'No, Not Without A Condom' Mean 'Yes, Even Without A Condom'?: The Fallout From R V Hutchinson, Lise Gotell, Isabel Grant

All Faculty Publications

In R v Kirkpatrick, the Court of Appeal for British Columbia held that consent to sexual activity cannot be established where a man proceeds with unprotected vaginal intercourse when his sexual partner has insisted on a condom. While this finding should be uncontroversial, it is in fact contrary to the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in R v Hutchinson. In this comment we argue that the approach taken in Kirkpatrick is correct and consistent with the landmark decision in R v Ewanchuk. We urge the Supreme Court of Canada to reconsider its majority judgment in Hutchinson in order to fully …


Sexual Consent And Disability, Jasmine E. Harris Jan 2018

Sexual Consent And Disability, Jasmine E. Harris

All Faculty Scholarship

Our nation is engaged in deep debate over sexual consent. But to date the discussion has overlooked sexual consent’s implications for a key demographic: people with mental disabilities, for whom the reported incidence of sexual violence is three times that of the nondisabled population. Even as popular debate overlooks the question of sexual consent for those with disabilities, contemporary legal scholars critique governmental overregulation of this area, arguing that it diminishes the agency and dignity of people with disabilities. Yet in defending their position, these scholars rely on empirical data from over twenty years ago, when disability and sexual assault …


Consent And Coercion, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan Jan 2018

Consent And Coercion, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

All Faculty Scholarship

There are substantial disputes as to what sorts of behavior constitute coercion and thereby undermine consent. This disagreement was on full display during the public fray over Aziz Ansari’s behavior on a date. Whereas some commentators condemned Ansari’s behavior as nothing short of sexual assault, others believed his behavior did not rise to the level of undermining consent.

This Article claims that the way forward is to see that there are two normative functions for coercion, and each is at play with respect to consent. Sometimes coercion is about the blameworthiness of the coercer, and sometimes coercion is about the …


Judging Sexual Assault Trials: Systemic Failure In The Case Of Regina V Bassam Al-Rawi, Elaine Craig Jan 2017

Judging Sexual Assault Trials: Systemic Failure In The Case Of Regina V Bassam Al-Rawi, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

The recent decision to acquit a Halifax taxi driver of sexual assault in a case involving a very intoxicated woman, who was found by police in the accused’s vehicle unconscious and naked from the breasts down, rightly sparked public criticism and consternation. A review of the trial record in Al-Rawi, including the examination and cross-examination of witnesses, the closing submissions of the Crown and defence counsel, and the trial judge’s oral decision suggests a failure of our legal system to respond appropriately to allegations of sexual assault - a failure for which, the author argues, both the trial judge and …


Solving The Riddle Of Rape By Deception, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2017

Solving The Riddle Of Rape By Deception, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

Is sex obtained by lies an act of lawful seduction or criminal rape? This deceptively simple question has baffled courts and scholars for more than a century. In an influential recent article, Yale Law Professor Jed Rubenfeld argued that our ambivalence towards this question generates what he called the “riddle of rape-by-deception”. The riddle is that if rape is defined as having sex without consent, then rape statutes should prohibit sex by deception just as much as they prohibit sex by force. Yet they don’t. So either rape statutes are guilty of a huge, inexplicable oversight or rape law is …


How To Think (Like A Lawyer) About Rape, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan, Peter K. Westen Jan 2017

How To Think (Like A Lawyer) About Rape, Kimberly Kessler Ferzan, Peter K. Westen

All Faculty Scholarship

From the American Law Institute to college campuses, there is a renewed interest in the law of rape. Law school faculty, however, may be reluctant to teach this deeply debated topic. This article begins from the premise that controversial and contested questions can be best resolved when participants understand the conceptual architecture that surrounds and delineates the normative questions. This allows participants to talk to one another instead of past each other. Accordingly, in this article, we begin by diffusing two non-debates: the apparent conflict created when we use “consent” to mean two different things and the question of whether …


Judging Sexual Assault Trials: Systemic Failure In The Case Of Regina V Bassam Al-Rawi, Elaine Craig Jan 2017

Judging Sexual Assault Trials: Systemic Failure In The Case Of Regina V Bassam Al-Rawi, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

The recent decision to acquit a Halifax taxi driver of sexual assault in a case involving a very intoxicated woman, who was found by police in the accused’s vehicle unconscious and naked from the breasts down, rightly sparked public criticism and consternation. A review of the trial record in Al-Rawi, including the examination and cross-examination of witnesses, the closing submissions of the Crown and defence counsel, and the trial judge’s oral decision suggests a failure of our legal system to respond appropriately to allegations of sexual assault - a failure for which, the author argues, both the trial judge and …


The Ethical Identity Of Sexual Assault Lawyers, Elaine Craig Jan 2016

The Ethical Identity Of Sexual Assault Lawyers, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Despite progressive law reforms, sexual assault complainants continue to experience the criminal justice response to the violations that they have suffered as unsatisfactory, if not traumatic. One emerging response to this dilemma involves greater consideration of the ethical boundaries imposed on lawyers that practice sexual assault law. What is the relationship between a criminal lawyer’s ethical duties and the reforms to the law of sexual assault in Canada? How do lawyers themselves understand the ethical limits imposed on their conduct of a sexual assault case? How do lawyers that practice in this area of law comprehend their role in the …


Not Affirmative Consent, Aya Gruber Jan 2016

Not Affirmative Consent, Aya Gruber

Publications

No abstract provided.


Consent Confusion, Aya Gruber Jan 2016

Consent Confusion, Aya Gruber

Publications

The slogans are ubiquitous: “Only ‘Yes’ Means ‘Yes’”; “Got Consent?”; “Consent is Hot, Assault is Not!” Clear consent is the rule, but the meaning of sexual consent is far from clear. The current state of confusion is evident in the numerous competing views about what constitutes mental agreement (grudging acceptance or eager desire?) and what comprises performative consent (passive acquiescence or an enthusiastic “yes”?). This paper seeks to clear up the consent confusion. It charts the contours of the sexual consent framework, categorizes different definitions of affirmative consent, and critically describes arguments for and against affirmative consent. Today’s widespread uncertainty …


The Ethical Identity Of Sexual Assault Lawyers, Elaine Craig Jan 2016

The Ethical Identity Of Sexual Assault Lawyers, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

Despite progressive law reforms, sexual assault complainants continue to experience the criminal justice response to the violations that they have suffered as unsatisfactory, if not traumatic. One emerging response to this dilemma involves greater consideration of the ethical boundaries imposed on lawyers that practice sexual assault law. What is the relationship between a criminal lawyer’s ethical duties and the reforms to the law of sexual assault in Canada? How do lawyers themselves understand the ethical limits imposed on their conduct of a sexual assault case? How do lawyers that practice in this area of law comprehend their role in the …


The Problem With Consenting To Insider Trading, Leo Katz Jan 2015

The Problem With Consenting To Insider Trading, Leo Katz

All Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


Personal Stare Decisis, Hiv Non-Disclosure, And The Decision In Mabior, Elaine Craig Jan 2015

Personal Stare Decisis, Hiv Non-Disclosure, And The Decision In Mabior, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

This article discusses the concept of personal stare decisis and the issue of horizontal precedent through examination of Canada's jurisprudence on the (over) criminalization of HIV non-disclosure. The Court's reasoning in R v Cuerrier and R v Mabior, as well as the trial decisions decided since Mabior are examined. The point is not to suggest that Justice McLachlin’s approach in Cuerrier offered the perfect solution to this issue. Indeed, as Isabel Grant argues, a better approach would remove non-disclosure of HIV status from the sexual assault criminal law regime and in its stead reintroduce the use of offences such …


Personal Stare Decisis, Hiv Non-Disclosure, And The Decision In Mabior, Elaine Craig Jan 2015

Personal Stare Decisis, Hiv Non-Disclosure, And The Decision In Mabior, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

This article discusses the concept of personal stare decisis and the issue of horizontal precedent through examination of Canada's jurisprudence on the (over) criminalization of HIV non-disclosure. The Court's reasoning in R v Cuerrier and R v Mabior, as well as the trial decisions decided since Mabior are examined. The point is not to suggest that Justice McLachlin’s approach in Cuerrier offered the perfect solution to this issue. Indeed, as Isabel Grant argues, a better approach would remove non-disclosure of HIV status from the sexual assault criminal law regime and in its stead reintroduce the use of offences such as …


The Ethical Obligations Of Defence Counsel In Sexual Assault Cases, Elaine Craig Jan 2014

The Ethical Obligations Of Defence Counsel In Sexual Assault Cases, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

The treatment of sexual assault complainants by defence counsel has been the site of significant debate for legal ethicists. Even those with the strongest commitment to the ethics of zealous advocacy struggle with how to approach the cross-examination of sexual assault complainants. One of the most contentious issues in this debate pertains to the use of bias, stereotype and discriminatory tactics to advance one’s client’s position. This paper focuses on the professional responsibilities defence lawyers bear in sexual assault cases. Its central claim is as follows: Defence counsel are ethically obligated to restrict their carriage of a sexual assault case …


The Ethical Obligations Of Defence Counsel In Sexual Assault Cases, Elaine Craig Jan 2014

The Ethical Obligations Of Defence Counsel In Sexual Assault Cases, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

The treatment of sexual assault complainants by defence counsel has been the site of significant debate for legal ethicists. Even those with the strongest commitment to the ethics of zealous advocacy struggle with how to approach the cross-examination of sexual assault complainants. One of the most contentious issues in this debate pertains to the use of bias, stereotype and discriminatory tactics to advance one’s client’s position. This paper focuses on the professional responsibilities defence lawyers bear in sexual assault cases. Its central claim is as follows: Defence counsel are ethically obligated to restrict their carriage of a sexual assault case …


Sexual Assault And The Meaning Of Power And Authority For Women With Mental Disabilities, Janine Benedet, Isabel Grant Jan 2014

Sexual Assault And The Meaning Of Power And Authority For Women With Mental Disabilities, Janine Benedet, Isabel Grant

All Faculty Publications

The sexual assault of persons with mental disabilities (also described as cognitive, intellectual and developmental disabilities) occurs at alarmingly high rates worldwide. These assaults are a form of gender-based violence intersecting with discrimination based on disability. Our research on the treatment of such cases in the Canadian criminal justice system demonstrates the systemic barriers these victims face at the level of both substantive legal doctrine and trial procedure. Relying on feminist legal theory and disability theory, we argue in this paper that abuses of trust and power underlie most sexual assaults of women with mental disabilities. We argue that existing …


Capacity To Consent To Sexual Risk, Elaine Craig Jan 2014

Capacity To Consent To Sexual Risk, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

In delineating the legal boundaries of capacity to consent to sexual touching, law makers and jurists must grapple with tensions between sexual liberty, morality, sexual minority equality interests, and public safety. Legal rules that stipulate that an individual cannot consent in advance to unconscious sexual activity or to sado-masochism, or that an individual under a certain age or with a particular intellectual capacity cannot consent to sexual touching have an impact on sexual liberty and should be justified. This paper argues that establishing these limits based on normative assessments about specific sexual acts poses too great a threat to the …


Actmissions, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2013

Actmissions, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

Most observers agree that it is morally worse to cause harm by engaging in an act than to contribute to producing the same harm by an omission. As a result, American criminal law punishes harmful omissions less than similarly harmful acts, unless there are exceptional circumstances that warrant punishing them equally. Yet there are many cases in which actors cause harm by engaging in conduct that can be reasonably described as either an act or an omission. Think of a doctor who flips a switch that discontinues life support to a patient. If the patient dies as a result, did …


Consent Is Not A Defense To Battery: A Reply To Professor Bergelson, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2011

Consent Is Not A Defense To Battery: A Reply To Professor Bergelson, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

In this essay I argue that, contrary to what most criminal law scholars believe, consent does not operate as a justification that relieves the actor of liability for conduct that admittedly satisfies the offense elements of battery. Rather, I contend that consent is only relevant to battery liability when, in conjunction with other factors, it modifies the definition of the crime in a way that reveals that the defendant’s act does not actually fall within the range of conduct prohibited by the offense. The argument proceeds in three parts.

In Part I, I argue that there are three ways of …


Consent Is Not A Defense To Battery: A Reply To Professor Bergelson, Luis E. Chiesa Jan 2011

Consent Is Not A Defense To Battery: A Reply To Professor Bergelson, Luis E. Chiesa

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Publications

Professor Vera Bergelson expressed puzzlement over the fact that those who feel "trapped in the wrong body" can "consent to a sex change operation, which often involves the removal of healthy sexual organs," whereas those who would feel happier being amputees "cannot consent to amputation of an arm or a leg.” Bergelson is equally puzzled by the fact that a spouse may physically injure her partner pursuant to practices of religious flagellation, but she may not cause similar injuries pursuant to sadomasochistic sexual practices. The purpose of this brief essay is to explain why I believe that the aforementioned cases …


It's Good To Be Autonomous: Prospective Consent, Retrospective Consent, And The Foundation Of Consent In The Criminal Law, Jonathan Witmer-Rich Jan 2011

It's Good To Be Autonomous: Prospective Consent, Retrospective Consent, And The Foundation Of Consent In The Criminal Law, Jonathan Witmer-Rich

Law Faculty Articles and Essays

What is the foundation of consent in the criminal law? Classically liberal commentators have offered at least three distinct theories. J.S. Mill contends we value consent because individuals are the best judges of their own interests. Joel Feinberg argues an individual’s consent matters because she has a right to autonomy based on her intrinsic sovereignty over her own life. Joseph Raz also focuses on autonomy, but argues that society values autonomy as a constituent element of individual well-being, which it is the state’s duty to promote.The criminal law’s approach to the problem of non-contemporaneous consent—prospective consent and retrospective consent—casts a …


Making Willing Bodies: Manufacturing Consent Among Prisoners And Soldiers, Creating Human Subjects, Patriots, And Everyday Citizens, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2011

Making Willing Bodies: Manufacturing Consent Among Prisoners And Soldiers, Creating Human Subjects, Patriots, And Everyday Citizens, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

In March 1944, doctors at the University of Chicago began infecting volunteer convicts at Stateville Prison with a virulent strand of malaria to test the effectiveness and side-effects of potent anti-malarial drugs. According to Dr. Alf Alving, the principal investigator, malaria "was the number-one medical problem of the war in the Pacific" and "we were losing far more men to malaria than to enemy bullets." This refrain would rehearse one of the most productive ways of speaking about prisoner experimentation. The Stateville prisoners became human once again and regained their citizenship and political voice by sacrificing their bodies to the …


Unasked (And Unanswered) Questions About The Role Of Neuroimaging In The Criminal Trial Process, Michael L. Perlin, Valerie Mcclain Jan 2010

Unasked (And Unanswered) Questions About The Role Of Neuroimaging In The Criminal Trial Process, Michael L. Perlin, Valerie Mcclain

Articles & Chapters

The robust neuroimaging debate has dealt mostly with philosophical questions about free will, responsibility, and the relationship between brain abnormalities, violence and crime. This debate, however, obscures several important issues of criminal procedure to which little attention has as of yet been paid: 1) an indigent defendant's right of access to expert testimony in cases where neuroimaging tests might be critical, 2) a defendant's competency to consent to the imposition of a neuroimaging test; and 3) the impact of antipsychotic medications on a defendant's brain at the time that such a test is performed. This article will consider these questions …


Ten Years After Ewanchuk The Art Of Seduction Is Alive And Well: An Examination Of The Mistaken Belief In Consent Defence, Elaine Craig Jan 2009

Ten Years After Ewanchuk The Art Of Seduction Is Alive And Well: An Examination Of The Mistaken Belief In Consent Defence, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

It has been a decade since the Supreme Court of Canada released its controversial decision in R. v. Ewanchuk. One of the central doctrinal issues raised by critics of Ewanchuk was a concern that it would not sufficiently allow for the mistaken belief defence in cases involving ‘morally innocent’ accused engaged in typical sexual overtures or in cases where the accused and complainant were in an ongoing sexual relationship at the time of the offence. A review of the reported cases, since 1998, demonstrates that the Ewanchuk analysis, properly interpreted, does not unjustly criminalize the progression of intimate behavior between …


Search Me?, John Burkoff Jan 2007

Search Me?, John Burkoff

Articles

Professor Burkoff contends that most people who purportedly "consent" to searches by law enforcement officers are not really - freely and voluntarily, as the Supreme Court decisional law supposedly requires - consenting to such searches. Yet, absent unusual circumstances, the great likelihood is that a court nonetheless will conclude that such consent was valid and any evidence seized admissible under the Fourth Amendment. Professor Burkoff argues, however, that the Supreme Court's 2006 decision in Georgia v. Randolph now dictates that the application of consent law doctrine should reflect the actual voluntariness (or involuntariness) of the questioned consents that come before …