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Sex assault reforms problematic but lawyers hail Criminal Code cleanup

Thursday, June 08, 2017 @ 10:17 AM | By Cristin Schmitz

Ottawa’s plan to purge more than two dozen constitutionally dubious reverse onuses and evidentiary presumptions from the Criminal Code has won widespread applause from the bar, but lawyers warn that proposed sexual assault law reforms risk Charter attack and unintended consequences.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould stunned many sexual assault law experts and feminist advocates June 6 when she introduced a Criminal Code cleanup bill in the Commons that unexpectedly proposes to expand the code’s rape shield, change the definition of “consent,” and further restrict the admissibility...