Despite the relentless coverage of the Ghomeshi trial at the beginning of February, there was no shortage of criminal law news this month.
There has been growing discontent with our current bail system and the topic is on the radar of the federal government, who just released a study that it commissioned to look at how to reform our bail system in Canada. A news story of the report can be found here.
Jian Ghomeshi's trial for sexual assault and overcoming resistance by choking wrapped up yesterday with both the Crown and defence making their final submissions. The trial has been extensively covered by the media, with many others weighing in on social media. The media coverage and public outcry over this trial shows that there is a general discontent with how we treat sexual assault cases and complainants in this country. Now, as the dust settles, we can take a step back to think about how the trial unfolded and how the impending decision will reflect how complainants of sexual assault are perceived and believed by the courts. Will the judge believe the complainants? Or will he acquit Mr. Ghomeshi? While it is counter-intuitive, the answer could well be both given that the charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.