Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context

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Recorded on May 3, 2012 - This webinar is designed for community workers who support women who have experienced physical violence, sexual violence, or criminal harassment, and are involved with the criminal court system. It looks at roles of key players within the criminal system, common charges under the Criminal Code and Provincial Offences Act, jargon used in the court system, and advocacy roles.
To watch this webinar visit:
http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/webinar/Introduction-to-Criminal-Law-in-a-Violence-Against-Women-Context

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Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context

  1. 1. This webinar is brought to you by Your Legal Rights: a website of legal information for people in Ontario. www.yourlegalrights.on.ca Your Legal Rights is a project of CLEO and funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario.
  2. 2. The content of this webinar is based on law or policy that was current on the date the webinar was recorded. Your Legal Rights webinars contain general legal information. They are not intended to be used as legal advice for a specific legal problem. For more information on how to find a lawyer or to contact your local community legal clinic visit: www.yourlegalrights.on.ca/find-services Your Legal Rights is a project of CLEO and funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario. Please Note:
  3. 3. Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context A webinar presented by Pamela Cross LLP, and Springtide Resources Ltd, May 3, 2012, 10 a.m. www.springtideresources.com
  4. 4. Biography of the presenter: Pamela Cross is a feminist lawyer who works in the violence against women sector. She is an experienced trainer on family and criminal law, particularly as these topics relate to violence against women. She has developed and delivered a number of online courses on family and criminal law and violence against women. At this time, Pamela is a member of the teaching faculty with the National Judicial Institute, where she plans and delivers educational programs on violence against women to Canadian judges. She is leading the development of violence against women curriculum for law schools in a project with the Law Commission of Ontario. With Luke’s Place Support and Resource Centre, Pamela heads the development and delivery of online resources and training for frontline workers who support unrepresented women through family court as well as in-person training on the family court process for unrepresented women. She is also the lead trainer for Family Court Support Workers in Ontario. Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 4
  5. 5. This webinar is based on content from Springtide Resources Inc.’s online training, ‘An Overview of Criminal Law and Violence Against Women’. For more information on this or other online training we offer please visit www.learning.springtideresources.org For more information on Springtide Resources Inc, please visit us at www.springtideresources.org Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 5
  6. 6. Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 6 Follow us at: Follow us on Twitter: @springtide_vaw
  7. 7. Topics covered in this Webinar: 1.Criminal Code 2.Common charges in violence against women cases 3.Ontario’s court system 4.Who does what 5.Language 6.Challenges faced by women involved in criminal court 7.Resources Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 7
  8. 8. Disclaimer: •This information is current to the date of this webinar – May 2012 •This is legal information, not legal advice •Not a replacement for speaking to a lawyer •This information is specific to Ontario Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 8
  9. 9. The Laws: The Criminal Code is a federal law that governs the behaviour of everyone in Canada. There are other federal laws that govern behaviour but they are not directly connected to the issue of violence against women. Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 9
  10. 10. The Laws (con’t): There are also provincial laws that regulate behaviour. In Ontario, these include the Provincial Offences Act, Trespass to Property Act, Highway Traffic Act and Animal Welfare Act. Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 10
  11. 11. The Laws (con’t): There are also family laws that are related to violence against women, but they are dealt with in family court not criminal court. Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 11
  12. 12. Violence against women: Violence against women includes a broad continuum of coercive, threatening, and violent behaviours that are designed to control the thoughts, feelings and actions of a woman through the use of fear, intimidation, humiliation and pain. Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 12
  13. 13. Violence against women (con’t): Includes: physical violence, including murder sexual violence stalking/harassment psychological abuse Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 13
  14. 14. Violence against women and the law: not all kinds of violence against women are covered by the Criminal Code in particular, there is a wide array of psychological abuse for which there is no criminal charge need to remember the historical context within which criminal law was developed Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 14
  15. 15. Common criminal charges: Assault charges: simple or common assault (Section 265)  assault with a weapon/causing bodily harm (Section 267) aggravated assault (Section 268) Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 15
  16. 16. Common criminal charges (con’t): Sexual assault charges: simple sexual assault (Section 271) sexual assault with a weapon/causing bodily harm (Section 272) aggravated sexual assault (Section 273) Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 16
  17. 17. Common criminal charges (con’t): Criminal harassment (Section 264) prohibits stalking behaviour criminal offence created in 1994 women sometimes choose to deal with stalking without using the criminal law Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 17
  18. 18. Common criminal charges (con’t): Other common charges include: Uttering threats Mischief Forcible confinement/kidnapping Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 18
  19. 19. Other charges: Charges can be laid under provincial statutes as well: Trespass to property Animal cruelty Being found guilty of any of these charges does not result in a criminal record. Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 19
  20. 20. The courts: •Administration of justice is a provincial responsibility •Three systems of courts in Ontario •Ontario Court of Justice (provincial court) •Superior Court of Justice (federal court) •Court of Appeal of Ontario Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 20
  21. 21. Integrated Domestic Violence Court: •Pilot, in one location in Toronto •Running since mid-2011 •Family and criminal matters heard by same judge on same day Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 21
  22. 22. Who does what: The woman: Not a party, unless she has been charged No right to legal representation, no access to legal aid  There as a witness for the Crown Crown is not her lawyer Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 22
  23. 23. Who does what (con’t): Crown Attorney: Represents the government Prosecutes cases Does not represent the victim Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 23
  24. 24. Who does what (con’t): Defence lawyer: Represents the accused in a criminal trial Duty counsel: Assists unrepresented people in criminal court Legal Aid Ontario service Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 24
  25. 25. Who does what (con’t): Judges: Are provincially or federally appointed Must have been lawyers Hear cases, decide on outcomes and penalties Justices of the Peace: Political appointments, do not have to be lawyers Handle most bail hearings Generally handle peace bond applications and provincial offence cases Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 25
  26. 26. Who does what (con’t): Victim Witness Assistance Program (V/WAP) Program within Crown’s office Duty to share information with Crown Supports and assists victims through the criminal process Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 26
  27. 27. Bail safety programs:  At 12 court sites in Ontario  Provides additional pre-bail support in VAW cases  Designated Crown, V/WAP and police officer do enhanced threat assessment before the bail hearing Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 27
  28. 28. The jargon:    Bail  Beyond a reasonable doubt  Complainant Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 28
  29. 29. The jargon (con’t):    Indictable/summary/hybrid offence  Peace bond  Subpoena Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 29
  30. 30. The jargon (con’t):    Surety  Victim impact statement Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 30
  31. 31. Challenges facing women in criminal court:  Mandatory charging  Myths and stereotypes about violence against women  Lack of access to legal information and representation  Barriers for women from marginalized communities Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 31
  32. 32. Your role:  Believe the woman  Support her in a non-judgmental way  Help her with safety planning  Explain court process to her Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 32
  33. 33. Your role (con’t):  Make appropriate referrals (e.g. V/WAP, duty counsel if she has been charged)  Share online resources with her  Advocate on her behalf Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 33
  34. 34. Resources:   General legal information • www.attorneygeneral.jus.on.ca • www.legalaid.on.ca • www.ojen.ca • www.yourlegalrights.on.ca Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 34
  35. 35. Resources (cont’d): Preparing for court • www.courtprep.ca Violence against women and court • www.owjn.org • www.violetnet.org Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 35
  36. 36. This webinar is based on content from Springtide Resources Inc.’s online training, ‘An Overview of Criminal Law and Violence Against Women’. For more information on this or other online training we offer please visit www.learning.springtideresources.org For more information on Springtide Resources Inc, please visit us at www.springtideresources.org Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 36
  37. 37. Introduction to Criminal Law in a Violence Against Women Context, Copyright Springtide Resources Inc. - May 2012 37 Follow us at: Follow us on Twitter: @springtide_vaw
  38. 38. This webinar was brought to you by Your Legal Rights: A website of legal information for people in Ontario For more information visit Your Legal Rights at www.yourlegalrights.on.ca For more public legal information webinars visit: www.yourlegalrights.on.ca/training

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