Differential treatment: how testimony is discussed in assault and sexual assault cases at the Court of Appeal of Québec

lightning talk
  1. 1. Louis Chartrand

    University of Pittsburgh

  2. 2. Ulisce Desmarais-Grégoire

    Desmarais Desvignes Crespo

Work text
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Developments in the last decade have shed a new light on sexual crimes and raised the issue of police and justice response in the public consciousness. Much of the criticisms towards the justice system have focused on the testimony, which revictimizes the victim by forcing them to relive the events while having their credibility put in doubt. This suggests that sexual assault victims are treated very differently to victims of other crimes. In this paper, we wish to substantiate, measure and qualify this claim in the context of Canadian criminal law through this question: is testimony being treated differently in sexual assault cases vs. in cases of assault which doesn't involve sexual activity? To address this question, we use topic models to identify discussions about testimony in court decisions from the Quebec Court of Appeal, and measure how they differ in sexual assault cases along various variables.

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Conference Info

In review

ADHO - 2020
"carrefours / intersections"

Hosted at Carleton University, Université d'Ottawa (University of Ottawa)

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

July 20, 2020 - July 25, 2020

475 works by 1078 authors indexed

Conference cancelled due to coronavirus. Online conference held at https://hcommons.org/groups/dh2020/. Data for this conference were initially prepared and cleaned by May Ning.

Conference website: https://dh2020.adho.org/

References: https://dh2020.adho.org/abstracts/

Series: ADHO (15)

Organizers: ADHO