Changes to sex assault laws threaten to undermine fair trial

Proposed changes to Canada's sex assault laws threaten to undermine the fair trial rights of accused people by forcing them to disclose evidence in their possession, says Toronto criminal lawyer Melanie Webb.

“It really seems as if we’re seeing an increasing slant towards being very concerned with the rights of a complainant, and focused on treating them with dignity and respect,” says Webb, founder and principal of the firm MJW Law.

“But it seems to be at the cost of an accused’s right to make full answer and defence and, frankly, it’s contrary to some of the fundamental tenets of the justice system,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com.