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Law General

Putting Trials on Trial

Sexual Assault and the Failure of the Legal Profession

by (author) Elaine Craig

Publisher
McGill-Queen's University Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2018
Category
General
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780773553019
    Publish Date
    Feb 2018
    List Price
    $34.95
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9780773552777
    Publish Date
    Feb 2018
    List Price
    $34.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780228006534
    Publish Date
    Jan 2021
    List Price
    $32.95

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Description

Over the past few years, public attention focused on the Jian Ghomeshi trial, the failings of Judge Greg Lenehan in the Halifax taxi driver case, and the judicial disciplinary proceedings against former Justice Robin Camp have placed the sexual assault trial process under significant scrutiny. Less than one percent of the sexual assaults that occur each year in Canada result in legal sanction for those who commit these offences. Survivors often distrust and fear the criminal justice process, and as a result, over ninety percent of sexual assaults go unreported. Unfortunately, their fears are well founded.

In this thorough evaluation of the legal culture and courtroom practices prevalent in sexual assault prosecutions, Elaine Craig provides an even-handed account of the ways in which the legal profession unnecessarily – and sometimes unlawfully – contributes to the trauma and re-victimization experienced by those who testify as sexual assault complainants. Gathering conclusive evidence from interviews with experienced lawyers across Canada, reported case law, lawyer memoirs, recent trial transcripts, and defence lawyers’ public statements and commercial advertisements, Putting Trials on Trial demonstrates that – despite prominent contestations – complainants are regularly subjected to abusive, humiliating, and discriminatory treatment when they turn to the law to respond to sexual violations.

In pursuit of trial practices that are less harmful to sexual assault complainants as well as survivors of sexual violence more broadly, Putting Trials on Trial makes serious, substantiated, and necessary claims about the ethical and cultural failures of the Canadian legal profession.

About the author

Elaine Craig is associate professor in the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University.

Elaine Craig's profile page

Other titles by Elaine Craig

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