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The Rape Shield Legislation (s. 276 of the...

Before 1982, it was permissible for criminal defence lawyers to attack the credibility of complainants in sexual assault cases by asking them questions about their sexual history. Criminal defence lawyers would ask these questions to suggest that the complainant might be lying about the alleged rape. Criminal defence lawyers routinely use a witness’s past behaviour to attack their credibility on the witness stand; as such, the credibility of a witness is an important issue at any trial. If a criminal defence lawyer can establish that a material witness has a tendency to lie or if the lawyer can expose a motive why he or she may be lying now, this will undermine the Crown’s case and often lead to an acquittal. However, in the 1980s the government was very concerned with the ability of defence lawyers to question complainants in sexual assault cases about their sexual history. Though both men…

14 Feb 2010

Entrapment

7 Feb 2010

Entrapment Entrapment is one of the many defences available in the criminal justice system. However, criminal defence lawyers will only pursue a defence of entrapment if the facts suggest that…

Lawyer vs. Paralegal

1 Feb 2010

A paralegal is a individual who is not a lawyer, but who is licensed to undertake specific forms of legal work. For example, paralegals often assist lawyers. In addition, paralegals…

Character Evidence

14 Jan 2010

During the course of a criminal trial the prosecution may try to lead character evidence about the accused individual. For legal purposes, the word “character” refers to a generalized description…

Impaired by Drugs

3 Jan 2010

Under Canadian law it is illegal to drive when impaired. Usually when we hear about impaired driving in the media, the focus is on drinking and driving. However, it is…

Peacebonds: Section 810 of the Criminal Code...

19 Dec 2009

A Peacebond is a court order requiring a specific individual to “keep the peace and be of good behaviour”. A peacebond is not a conviction and it will not appear…

If Tiger Woods Happened on the Bridal Path

15 Dec 2009

In the controversy surrounding Tiger Wood’s recent driving accident, it has been rumored that Mr. Wood’s blood tests from the hospital revealed that he had consumed alcohol, prescription drugs and…