Skip to main content

First Session, Forty-second Parliament,
64-65-66 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-337
An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code (sexual assault)
AS PASSED
BY THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
May 15, 2017
421328


SUMMARY
This enactment amends the Judges Act to restrict eligibility for judicial appointment to individuals who have completed comprehensive education in respect of matters related to sexual assault law and social context. It also requires the Canadian Judicial Council to report on continuing education seminars in matters related to sexual assault law. Furthermore, it amends the Criminal Code to require that reasons provided by a judge in sexual assault decisions be entered in the record of the proceedings or be in writing.
Available on the Parliament of Canada Web Site at the following address:
http://www.parl.gc.ca


1st Session, 42nd Parliament,
64-65-66 Elizabeth II, 2015-2016-2017
HOUSE OF COMMONS OF CANADA
BILL C-337
An Act to amend the Judges Act and the Criminal Code (sexual assault)
Preamble
Whereas survivors of sexual violence in Canada must have faith in the criminal justice system;
Whereas Parliament recognizes the importance of a free and independent judiciary;
Whereas Parliamentarians have a responsibility to ensure that Canada’s democratic institutions reflect the values and principles of Canadians and respond to their needs and concerns;
Whereas sexual assault proceedings have a profound effect on the reputations and lives of those affected and present a high possibility of revictimizing survivors of sexual violence;
Whereas problematic interpretations of the law may arise in sexual assault trials;
Whereas Parliament recognizes the value and importance of judges participating in continuing legal education;
Whereas Parliament wants to be made aware of the participation of the judiciary in sexual assault law training;
Whereas, because lawyers seeking to be appointed to the judiciary are not required to have completed sexual assault law training, judges may be assigned to hear sexual assault cases without such training;
And whereas written reasons for decisions in sexual assault proceedings enhance the transparency and accountability of the judiciary;
Now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:
Short Title
Short title
1This Act may be cited as the Judicial Accountability through Sexual Assault Law Training Act.
R.‍S.‍, c. J-1
Judges Act
2(1)The portion of section 3 of the French version of the Judges Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:
3Peuvent seules être nommées juges d’une juridiction supérieure d’une province, si elles remplissent par ailleurs les conditions légales, les personnes qui, à la fois :
(2)Paragraphs 3(a) and (b) of the Act are replaced by the following:
(a)is a barrister or advocate of at least 10 years’ standing at the bar of any province or has, for an aggregate of at least 10 years,
(i)been a barrister or advocate at the bar of any province, and
(ii)after becoming a barrister or advocate at the bar of any province, exercised powers and performed duties and functions of a judicial nature on a full-time basis in respect of a position held under a law of Canada or a province; and
(b)has, to the satisfaction of the Commissioner as defined in section 72, completed recent and comprehensive
(i)education in sexual assault law that has been developed in consultation with sexual assault survivors, as well as with groups and organizations that support them, and that includes instruction in evidentiary prohibitions, principles of consent and the conduct of sexual assault proceedings, as well as education regarding myths and stereotypes associated with sexual assault complainants, and
(ii)social context education.
3Paragraph 60(2)‍(b) of the Act is replaced by the following:
(b)establish seminars for the continuing education of judges, including in respect of matters related to sexual assault law and social context that have been developed in consultation with sexual assault survivors, as well as with groups and organizations that support them;
4The Act is amended by adding the following after section 62:
Report — seminars
62.‍1(1)Within 60 days after the end of each calendar year, the Council shall submit to the Minister a report on the seminars, referred to in paragraph 60(2)‍(b), in respect of matters related to sexual assault law offered in the preceding calendar year that includes
(a)the title and a description of the content of each seminar, its duration, and the dates on which it was offered;
(b)the number of judges who attended each seminar and the court on which they serve; and
(c)the number of sexual assault cases heard by judges who have never participated in such a seminar.
Tabling of report
(2)The Minister shall table a copy of the report in each House of Parliament on any of the first 10 days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives the report.
R.‍S.‍, c. C-46
Criminal Code
5The Criminal Code is amended by adding the following after section 278.‍91:
Reasons
278.‍92(1)In proceedings for an offence under section 151, 152, 153, 153.‍1 or 155, subsection 160(2) or (3) or section 170, 171, 172, 173, 271, 272 or 273, the judge shall provide reasons for a decision that a person is
(a)acquitted;
(b)discharged;
(c)found guilty of the offence;
(d)found not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder; or
(e)found unfit to stand trial in respect of the offence.
Record of reasons
(2)The reasons shall be entered in the record of the proceedings or, if the proceedings are not recorded, shall be provided in writing.
Proceedings before a judge
(3)Subsections (1) and (2) apply only in proceedings before a judge without a jury.
Published under authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons

Publication Explorer
Publication Explorer
ParlVU