Tell the Canadian Government that 'being drunk' can not be used as a defense in sexual assault cases sign now

Recently in Ontario, Justice Terrence Patterson, while presiding over a sexual assault case, ruled that Parliament violated the Charter of Rights with a law (Bill C-72) that prohibits the defence of excessive intoxication. Justice Patterson allowed the accused Carl Frederick Fleming to argue that he was too drunk to understand his actions when he sexually assaulted an Ontario woman in 2009.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario/law-on-drunkenness-defence-struck-down-again/article2011843/

In 1995 Bill C-72: An Act to Amend the Criminal Code was passed in the Legislature of Canada in 1995, in response to the "drunken defence" argument as it was used by offenders in sexual assault cases. The purpose of Bill C-72 is to hold those who sexually assault accountable for their actions by:

1. Working against offenders' attempts to negate the requirement of voluntariness - an offender can no longer suggest he was not at fault because he did not intend to commit the offence

2. Deeming that a person who is so intoxicated as to be unaware of or incapable of controlling his behaviour, and then who interferes with or threatens to interfere with the physical integrity of another person has markedly departed from the standard of reasonable behaviour expected from Canadians (Isabel Grant, Second chances: Bill C-72 and The Charter)



The ruling by Justice Patterson violates every Canadian woman's right's (Section 15 of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) and every person who has been a victim of sexual assault by not giving them the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law. We know that less than 10% percent of all sexual assaults are never reported to the police because of fear of re-victimization in the legal system yet over half of all Canadian women will experience sexual violence in their lives and we also know that the number one date rape drug is alcohol.

Would Justice Patterson have ruled the same way if this case involved someone who drank too much, got behind the wheel of a vehicle and killed someone on their way home?

We ask that the Canadian Government repudiate Justice Patterson's ruling. Remind Canadians that criminal intoxication was rejected as an option for defence because it unfairly shifted the focus away from the offender's responsibility for the violence and the harm that it caused.

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Kim GrahamBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
Government, judges, lawyers, feminists, advocates, womens organization

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friends, work group, eomployees, advocates, community members

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advocacy, bill c-72, canadian government, drunkeness, feminists, justice patterson, sexual assault, social change, women, womens rights

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