P.E.I. hosts 'timely' seminar for judges on sexual assault law

Appeal court judges from across the Maritimes got some specific training on P.E.I. this week about laws that apply to sexual assault.

Seminar part of ongoing education and training for judges, says chief justice

P.E.I. Chief Justice David Jenkins says the seminar on sexual assault law was timely with all the cases in the media and before the courts. (Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal)

Appeal court judges from across the Maritimes got some specific training on P.E.I. this week about laws that apply to sexual assault.

P.E.I. Chief Justice David Jenkins says sexual assault is an area of the law that is fraught with challenges and is changing all the time.

"One of the first things we looked at in the program is where sexual assault law fits in society. And there's been developments in this law over the last 30 and 40 years with equality of women in society and balancing that, and the changes in society with an accused's right to make full answer and defence, raises some very special challenges."

One of the first things we looked at in the program is where sexual assault law fits in society.— Chief Justice David Jenkins

Jenkins said the seminar was part of ongoing education and training for judges.

"It's very timely," he said. "There is a lot of sexual assault law issues in the media and in the courts especially these days."

He said the "me too" movement has made it easier for women to make complaints related to sexual assault.

"We don't get into that in the courts, of course, we decide based on reasonable doubt and the Crown must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and the presumption of innocence."

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With files from CBC News: Compass