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Women's Studies
Women's Studies 2270A/B
Amanda J Porter

R v Seaboyer R v Gayme 1991 SeaboyerMan and women drinking at a bar went home together and the complainant says their was sexual yassaultAt the trial they brought up recent sexual exceeds the girl had to explain the bruises on hery Courts ruled this info is inadmissible yo Cant bring up a womens sexual history in an attempt to exonerate Gayme18 yrs old man and 15 year old girl y Trial wanted to bring up girls past sexual experiences y S 277 y Uniting feature between the two cases in the inadmissibility of the two casesyAre sections 276 and 277 of the Criminal Code constitutionalDo they violate the defendants yright to a fair trial contained in sections 7 and 11 of the Charter of Rights and FreedomsWhat are sections 276 and 277y o Rape shield laws o Laws that prohibit certain sexual history from being present in historyRape Shield laws that prohibit certain kinds of evidence about a complainants sexual history y276 or her reputation 277 from being admitted into evidence in trial McLachlin Majority decision The Supreme Court of Canada argued that s 277 was constitutionalExcluding evidence of a ycomplainants reputation does not compromise the right of the accused to a fair trial o There is little value to accussed in using this informationo Also argue that 276 is not constitutional as their may be cases where accused sexual experience is relevant and necessary for the trialThe Court also argued that s 276 was unconstitutional There may be cases where the ycomplainants sexual experience is relevant and necessary for the defendants right to a fair trialWhat motivated section 276 and 277 Historically evidence of a complainants sexual history that had little to no probative value was ydeliberately introduced at trial by the defense in order to mislead the jury o This often worked by getting the accused off Defense teams played on the myths that 1 unchaste women were more likely to consent to sex yand 2unchaste women were less worthy of belief are less likely to speak the truth under oath 3 Purposes of Rape Shield laws 1 Maintain the integrity of the trial by refusing evidence that has no probative force and unduly prejudices the judge or jury against the complainant 2 To encourage the reporting of crimeOne may be reluctant to bring up a case of sexual assault if they knew their sexual history ywould be made public 3 To protect the privacy of the witnessescomplainanty
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