New Bill would require judges to undergo training in sexual assault law

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A new bill will require judges to undergo training in sexual assault law.

The bill, put forward by David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and entitled: An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code, would require newly appointed provincial superior court judges to complete sexual assault law and social context training.

It would also require the Canadian Judicial Council to report on the participation of all sitting superior court judges in sexual assault law education.

The bill is intended to help strengthen public confidence and sexual assault survivors’ confidence in the criminal justice system.

The purpose of the bill is to ensure judges hearing sexual assault matters will have the necessary training to fairly and properly decide matters, without the influence of myths and stereotypes.

“Canadians expect that judges have the necessary training to understand the complex nature of sexual assault and the myths that too often surround them. They also expect their leaders to work across party lines to bring about change,” Lametti said in a news release.

“This Bill will also help ensure that judges participate in broader training on social context, including social or cultural factors that may affect individuals’ engagement with the justice system. I hope this will help foster greater confidence of survivors, and the broader Canadian public, in our justice system,” he continued.

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