Judges must be accountable on sexual assault law

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This article was published 01/10/2021 (493 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Over the last year, I have been working towards the provincial government passing important legislation that would mandate provincially appointed judges to take formal courses dealing with sexual assault.

A similar bill was introduced nationally for federal judges, and it is important that Manitoba follows suit as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, sexual assaults continue to happen across the country, including here in Manitoba. As a result, many cases end up in the courts and we must ensure that those making life-changing decisions are educated and equipped to deal with them in a professional and sensitive manner.

Last year, I introduced Bill 215, which would ensure that all individuals being considered as judges complete education in sexual assault law. The bill also requires the chief judge to establish and implement a continuing education program for judges and judicial justices of the peace. The program would be made public and would be reviewed annually to ensure accountability.

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to a global increase in domestic and intimate partner violence, which is a direct result of lockdowns and the closure of safe places for people to go who are experiencing this violence at home.

With November coming up, which is recognized as domestic violence awareness month, we need to continuing addressing this issue, educating the public and building up resources for those who are or have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault.

 I will continue to advocate for the implementation of more resources to help end domestic violence and sexual assault. In the meantime, it’s important we pass legislation to ensure our justice system has the means and the understanding to best deal with these cases.

 

Cindy Lamoureux

Cindy Lamoureux
Tyndall Park constituency report

Cindy Lamoureux is the Liberal MLA for Tyndall Park.

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