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29 Queen's L.J. 175 (2003-2004)
Canada's Criminal Harassment Provisions: A Review of the First Ten Years

handle is hein.journals/queen29 and id is 185 raw text is: Canada's Criminal Harassment Provisions:
A Review of the First Ten Years
Isabel Grant, Natasha Bone, and Kathy
In 1993, in response to high profile cases involving the harassment and murder of women,
Parliament amended the Criminal Code to include a new crime of criminal harassment in
section 264. At that time, women's groups expressed concern that the legislation was not an
adequate response to the pressing social problem of intimate violence and harassment of
women. The authors examine the first ten years of case law under the new provision, in an
attempt to determine whether the initial concerns have been borne out.
After reviewing the cases qualitatively, the authors conclude that there are three main
problems with the legislation. First, the requirement that the conduct in question be repeated
could sometimes put women in danger. Second, the requirement that a woman 's fear be
reasonable could trivialize their actual responses to repeated harassment. Third, and most
important, the subjective fault standard enables an accused to assert that, rather than harassing
the woman, he was courting her in an attempt to (re)establish a romantic relationship. A
reasonable doubt in this regard results in an acquittal.
The authors conclude that any changes to the legislation must be informed by the gendered
nature of this offence and by the larger social problem of violence against women generally.
The criminalization of harassment has a role to play in society's response to intimate violence,
but on its own it is an insufficient response.
I.   The Nature of Criminal Harassment
II. The Legislative History of Criminal Harassment
III. The Cases Under Review
A. Profiles of the Accused and the Complainants
(i) Male Accused
(ii) Female Accused
(iii) Male Complainants
Professor, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia.
LL.B., University of British Columbia, 2003.
LL.B., University of British Columbia, 2004.
Thanks to Janine Benedet and Robert Carter for their helpful comments on an earlier

I. Grant, N. Bone & K. Grant


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