Eliminating Canada's zombie laws

Par CBA/ABC National mars 9, 20179 mars 2017

Eliminating Canada's zombie laws


Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould is taking a big old barbed-wire-covered bat to some Canada’s zombie laws in the Criminal Code – that is, invalid, unenforceable provisions in the Criminal Code that have been struck down by the courts for violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

She introduced legislation on Wednesday that would remove or amend outdated provisions, such as the offence prohibiting abortion, as well as provisions dealing with driving under the influence and murder that have been struck down.

The fact that invalid provisions are still on the books has made headlines for creating confusion. CBA National reported last year on the judicial error made in the second-degree murder conviction of Travis Vader, where the presiding judge relied on a section declared unconstitutional in 1990 to deliver his verdict.

The Justice Minister’s bill would also repeal the offence of anal intercourse, a measure that was initially contemplated in Bill C-32, introduced last November.

The new legislation is intended as a first step in modernizing the Criminal Code, Wilson-Raybould said. Her ministry will lead a comprehensive review before targeting other provisions that need to be updated.

For year the CBA has advocated for a comprehensive review to modernize the Criminal Code.

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