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Defence counsel deny law on consent needs reform

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 @ 8:18 AM | By Cristin Schmitz

The criminal justice system must eradicate persistent stereotyping and underlying biases against sexual assault complainants, say critics who are calling for better judicial education and a potential rewrite of the law of consent.

But defence counsel are warning against implementing fundamental changes — such as reversing or easing the burden of proof — that they argue would violate the Charter-guaranteed presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial in sexual assault prosecutions.

Anne London-Weinstein“There is little discussion in this context about the possibility of wrongful convictions [but] wrongful...