Liberals modernizing sexual assault law

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA–The Liberal government is changing sexual assault law to make it clear that an unconscious person cannot consent to sexual activity, part of an effort to bring legislation up to speed with the courts–and the times.
Justice minister Jody Wilson-Raybould also wants to expand rape shield provisions to include text messages and other communications of a sexual nature or for a sexual purpose, either from before or after the sexual activity in question.
The proposed changes also would make it clear that a complainant has the right to a lawyer during rape shield proceedings, which are designed to prevent keep a complainant’s sexual history from being used against them.
It also would set up a regime to clarify whether an accused can introduce in court any private records of a complainant, such as diary entries or notes from therapy sessions.
As well, the proposed changes would remove unconstitutional or obsolete sections from the Criminal Code, including bans on challenging someone to a duel, pretending to practice witchcraft, or publishing, selling, or owning comic books about crime.
The bill also would require the justice minister to explain publicly why any newly-proposed laws–including those outside her portfolio–are compliant with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.