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Lucinda Ann Vandervort Brettler
University of Saskatchewan
  1. Consent and the Criminal Law.Lucinda Vandervort - 1990 - Osgoode Hall Law Journal 28 (2):485-500.
    The author examines two proposals to expand legal recognition of individual control over physical integrity. Protections for individual autonomy are discussed in relation to the right to die, euthanasia, medical treatment, and consensual and assaultive sexual behaviours. The author argues that at present, the legal doctrine of consent protects only those individual preferences which are seen to be congruent with dominant societal values; social preferences and convenience override all other individual choices. Under these conditions, more freedom to waive rights of (...)
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  2. Mistake of Law and Sexual Assault: Consent and Mens Rea.Lucinda Vandervort - 1987-1988 - Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 2 (2):233-309.
    In this ground-breaking article submitted for publication in mid-1986, Lucinda Vandervort creates a radically new and comprehensive theory of sexual consent as the unequivocal affirmative communication of voluntary agreement. She argues that consent is a social act of communication with normative effects. To consent is to waive a personal legal right to bodily integrity and relieve another person of a correlative legal duty. If the criminal law is to protect the individual’s right of sexual self-determination and physical autonomy, rather than (...)
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  3.  71
    Affirmative Sexual Consent in Canadian Law, Jurisprudence, and Legal Theory.Lucinda Vandervort - 2012 - Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 23 (2):395-442.
    This article examines the development of affirmative sexual consent in Canadian jurisprudence and legal theory and its adoption in Canadian law. Affirmative sexual consent requirements were explicitly proposed in Canadian legal literature in 1986, codified in the 1992 Criminal Code amendments, and recognized as an essential element of the common law and statutory definitions of sexual consent by the Supreme Court of Canada in a series of cases decided since 1994. Although sexual violence and non-enforcement of sexual assault laws are (...)
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  4.  16
    The Prejudicial Effects of 'Reasonable Steps' in Analysis of Mens Rea and Sexual Consent: Two Solutions.Lucinda Vandervort - 2018 - Alberta Law Review 55 (4):933-970.
    This article examines the operation of “reasonable steps” as a statutory standard for analysis of the availability of the defence of belief in consent in sexual assault cases and concludes that application of section 273.2(b) of the Criminal Code, as presently worded, often undermines the legal validity and correctness of decisions about whether the accused acted with mens rea, a guilty, blameworthy state of mind. When the conduct of an accused who is alleged to have made a mistake about whether (...)
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  5.  26
    Sexual Consent as Voluntary Agreement: Tales of “Seduction” or Questions of Law?Lucinda Vandervort - 2013 - New Criminal Law Review 16 (1):143-201.
    This article proposes a rigorous method to “map” the law on to the facts in the legal analysis of “sexual consent” using a series of mandatory questions of law designed to eliminate the legal errors often made by decision-makers who routinely rely on personal beliefs about and attitudes towards “normal sexual behavior” in screening and deciding cases. In Canada, sexual consent is affirmative consent, the communication by words or conduct of “voluntary agreement” to a specific sexual activity, with a specific (...)
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  6.  22
    Legal Subversion of the Criminal Justice Process? Judicial, Prosecutorial and Police Discretion in Edmondson, Kindrat and Brown.Lucinda Vandervort - 2012 - In Elizabeth Sheehy (ed.), SEXUAL ASSAULT IN CANADA: LAW, LEGAL PRACTICE & WOMEN'S ACTIVISM,. Ottawa, ON, Canada: Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. pp. 111-150.
    In 2001, three non-Aboriginal men in their twenties were charged with the sexual assault of a twelve year old Aboriginal girl in rural Saskatchewan. Legal proceedings lasted almost seven years and included two preliminary hearings, two jury trials, two retrials with juries, and appeals to the provincial appeal court and the Supreme Court of Canada. One accused was convicted. The case raises questions about the administration of justice in sexual assault cases in Saskatchewan. Based on observation and analysis of the (...)
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  7.  46
    Implied Consent and Sexual Assault: Intimate Relationships, Autonomy, and Voice by Michael Plaxton. [REVIEW]Lucinda Vandervort - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 28:697-702.
    This is a review and critical commentary on Michael Plaxton's 2015 book, Implied Consent and Sexual Assault, in which he proposes that the legal definition of sexual consent be amended to permit sexual partners to define the terms and conditions of sexual consent in accordance with private "normative commitments" between themselves. The proposed "reform" is intended to permit an individual to agree to be a party to sexual activity that would otherwise constitute sexual assault under Canadian law. For reasons explained (...)
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  8. Honest Beliefs, Credible Lies, and Culpable Awareness: Rhetoric, Inequality, and Mens Rea in Sexual Assault.Lucinda Vandervort - 2004 - Osgoode Hall Law Journal 42 (4):625-660.
    The exculpatory rhetorical power of the term “honest belief” continues to invite reliance on the bare credibility of belief in consent to determine culpability in sexual assault. In law, however, only a comprehensive analysis of mens rea, including an examination of the material facts and circumstances of which the accused was aware, demonstrates whether a “belief” in consent was or was not reckless or wilfully blind. An accused's “honest belief” routinely begs this question, leading to a truncated analysis of criminal (...)
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  9. HIV, Fraud, Non-Disclosure, Consent and a Stark Choice: Mabior or Sexual Autonomy?Lucinda Vandervort - 2013 - Criminal Law Quarterly 60 (2):301-320.
    The reasons for judgment by the Supreme Court of Canada on the appeal in Mabior (2012 SCC 47) fail to address or resolve a number of significant questions. The reasons acknowledge the fundamental role of sexual consent in protecting sexual autonomy, equality, and human dignity, but do not use the law of consent as a tool to assist the Court in crafting a fresh approach to the issue on appeal. Instead the Court adopts the same general approach to analysis of (...)
     
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  10. Sexual Assault: Availability of the Defence of Belief in Consent.Lucinda Vandervort - 2005 - Canadian Bar Review 84 (1):89-105.
    Despite amendments to the sexual assault provisions in the Criminal Code, decisions about the availability and operation of the defence of belief in consent remain vulnerable to the influence of legally extraneous considerations. The author proposes an approach designed to limit the influence of such considerations.
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  11.  71
    Reproductive Choice: Screening Policy and Access to the Means of Reproduction.Lucinda Vandervort - 2006 - Human Rights Quarterly 28 (2):438-464.
    The practice of screening potential users of reproductive services is of profound social and political significance. Access screening is inconsistent with the principles of equality and self-determination, and violates individual and group human rights. Communities that strive to function in accord with those principles should not permit access screening, even screening that purports to be a benign exercise of professional discretion. Because reproductive choice is controversial, regulation by law may be required in most jurisdictions to provide effective protection for reproductive (...)
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  12.  60
    Social Justice in the Modern Regulatory State: Duress, Necessity and the Consensual Model in Law.Lucinda Vandervort - 1987 - Law and Philosophy 6 (2):205 - 225.
    This paper examines the role of the consensual model in law and argues that if substantive justice is to be the goal of law, the use of individual choice as a legal criterion for distributive and retributive purposes must be curtailed and made subject to substantive considerations. Substantive justice arguably requires that human rights to life, well-being, and the commodities essential to life and well-being, be given priority whenever a societal decision is made. If substantive justice is a collective societal (...)
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  13.  14
    The Defence of Belief in Consent: Guidelines and Jury Instructions for Application of Criminal Code Section 265(4).Lucinda Vandervort - 2005 - Criminal Law Quarterly 50 (4):441-452.
    The availability of the defence of belief in consent under section 265(4) is a question of law, subject to review on appeal. The statutory provision is based on the common law rule that applies to all defences. Consideration of the defence when it is unavailable in law and failure to consider it when it is available are both incorrect. A judge is most likely to avoid error when ruling on availability of the defence if the ruling: (1) is grounded on (...)
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  14.  6
    Enforcing the Sexual Laws: An Agenda for Action.Lucinda Vandervort - 1985 - Resources for Feminist Research 3 (4):44-45.
    Resources for Feminist Research, Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 44-45, 1985 In this brief article, written in 1984 and published the following year, Lucinda Vandervort sets out a comprehensive agenda for enforcement of sexual assault laws in Canada. Those familiar with her subsequent writing are aware that the legal implications of the distinction between the “social” and “legal” definitions of sexual assault, identified here as crucial for interpretation and implementation of the law of sexual assault, are analyzed at length in (...)
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  15. Access to Justice and the Public Interest in the Administration of Justice.Lucinda Vandervort - 2012 - University of New Brunswick Law Journal 63:124-144.
    The public interest in the administration of justice requires access to justice for all. But access to justice must be “meaningful” access. Meaningful access requires procedures, processes, and institutional structures that facilitate communication among participants and decision-makers and ensure that judges and other decision-makers have the resources they need to render fully informed and sound decisions. Working from that premise, which is based on a reconceptualization of the objectives and methods of the justice process, the author proposes numerous specific changes (...)
     
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  16. Empirical Uncertainty and Legal Decision-Making.Lucinda Vandervort - 1985 - In Eugenio Bulygin, Jean Louis Gardies & Ilkka Nilniluoto (eds.), LAW AND MODERN FORMS OF LIFE, with an introduction by Michael D. Bayles, volume 1, Law and Philosophy Library, pp. 251-261. D. Reidel Publishing.
    In this paper I argue that the rationality of law and legal decision making would be enhanced by a systematic attempt to recognize and respond to the implications of empirical uncertainty for policy making and decision making. Admission of uncertainty about the accuracy of facts and the validity of assumptions relied on to make inferences of fact is commonly avoided in law because it raises the spectre of paralysis of the capacity to decide issues authoritatively. The roots of this short-sighted (...)
     
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  17. Mistake of Law and Obstruction of Justice: A 'Bad Excuse' ... Even for a Lawyer!Lucinda Vandervort - 2001 - University of New Brunswick Law Journal 50: 171-186.
    In Regina v. Murray, (2000, Ont S.Ct.J.) the learned trial judge, Justice Gravely, errs in his interpretation and application of the law of mens rea in the offense of willfully attempting to obstruct justice under section 139(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada. In view of his findings of fact and law, including the determination that the accused knowingly and intentionally committed the actus reus of the offense and the absence of any suggestion that he lacked awareness of any relevant (...)
     
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  18.  24
    Political Control of Independent Administrative Agencies.Lucinda Vandervort - 1979 - Ottawa, ON, Canada: Law Reform Commission of Canada, 190 pages.
    This work examines the development and performance of federal independent regulatory bodies in Canada in the period up to 1979, with particular attention to the operation of legislative schemes that include executive review and appeal powers. The author assesses the impact of the exercise of these powers on the administrative law process, and proposes new models for the generation, interpretation, implementation, review, and enforcement of regulatory policy. The study includes a series of representative case studies based on documentation and extensive (...)
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  19. 'Too Young to Sell Me Sex!?' Mens Rea, Mistake of Fact, Reckless Exploitation, and the Underage Sex Worker.Lucinda Vandervort - 2012 - Criminal Law Quarterly 58 (3/4):355-378.
    In 1987, apprehension that “unreasonable mistakes of fact” might negative mens rea in sexual assault cases led the Canadian Parliament to enact “reasonable steps” requirements for mistakes of fact with respect to the age of complainants. The role and operation of the “reasonable steps” provisions in ss. 150.1(4) and (5) and, to a lesser extent, s. 273.2 of the Criminal Code, must be reassessed. Mistakes of fact are now largely addressed at common law by jurisprudence that has re-invigorated judicial awareness (...)
     
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