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Michael Plaxton

Law Professor

Michael Plaxton is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Saskatchewan. He teaches and publishes in a range of areas including criminal law, constitutional law, and legal philosophy. His book, Implied Consent and Sexual Assault: Intimate Relationships, Autonomy, and Voice has recently been published by McGill-Queen's University Press.
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Ghomeshi And The Legacy Of Rape Mythology

No one will ever know whether Ghomeshi would have been convicted had his accusers been more honest and candid. All we can say is that the Crown's case would have been far stronger. Knowing that they will be judged in light of such "rape myths," it may seem sensible -- even obvious -- to a great many complainants that certain pieces of information should be managed so that they conform to the stereotype.
03/29/2016 02:49 EDT
shawncalhoun/Flickr

A Canadian View Of The Scalia Replacement Controversy

To Canadian eyes, there is something both familiar and strange about the controversy surrounding President Obama's authority to name a replacement for Antonin Scalia. The issue is familiar because, last year, then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper appointed Russell Brown to the Supreme Court of Canada only 6 weeks before the federal election (having announced that he would do so a few days before Parliament was dissolved). Examining both cases can help us learn key differences between our two governments.
02/22/2016 11:26 EST
CP

Assessing Credibility In The Ghomeshi Trial

Closing arguments have been made in the Jian Ghomeshi trial. The case, everyone agrees, turns on the credibility of the three complainants. How will the trial judge decide whether he accepts their testimony?
02/11/2016 05:01 EST
Tim Robberts via Getty Images

Calling Sexting Child Pornography Is Bad Policy

On several occasions, police and prosecutors have used the child pornography provisions in the Criminal Code to address incidents of teen "sexting." The fact that these offences can 'catch' this kind of conduct has led some commentators to argue that there is no compelling reason to enact the proposed offence of "non-consensual distribution of intimate images." I disagree.
06/03/2014 12:29 EDT
Getty

Should We Reintroduce "Rape"?

Rob Anders, a Conservative Member of Parliament in Calgary, has announced that he will introduce a private members' bill seeking to reintroduce the crime of "rape." The proposal has met with some enthusiasm in some circles. That is not surprising. Well before the language of "rape" was excised from the Criminal Code, in 1983, the idea of collapsing all forms of non-consensual sexual touching into an all-encompassing offence of "sexual assault" was deeply controversial. One of the concerns raised is that, by restoring "rape" to the Criminal Code, other forms of sexual assault will be perceived as less significant.
01/24/2014 05:40 EST
CP

Why Marc Nadon Was Not Fairly Appointed to the Supreme Court

The controversy over Marc Nadon's appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada reached an important milestone late last month, when the Attorney General of Canada filed its written argument for the upcoming Reference. Unsurprisingly, it says that the Supreme Court Act, properly interpreted, permits Nadon's elevation to the Court. I disagree.
12/11/2013 05:21 EST