The Victories of Jane Doe
Sexual Assault in Canada: Law, Legal Practice and Women’s Activism, Elizabeth Sheehy, ed., University of Ottawa Press, June 2012
24 Pages Posted: 16 May 2013 Last revised: 21 Sep 2013
Date Written: 2012
In the chapter that follows, Elizabeth A Sheehy sets the stage for this book. She describes three legal landmarks that Jane Doe’s engagement with the Canadian legal system achieved, but her real point is that Jane Doe waged and won her legal battles on her own terms. These terms included her insistence on being present in the courtroom when her rapist was on trial, which was contrary to “business as usual”; her active participation in the development of the legal arguments and evidence for her case, which again disrupted the ordinary practice of the law; and her questioning of sexist language and concepts such as the “gentleman rapist,” which helped to win the lawsuit.
Keywords: Jane Doe, Canadian legal system, rape, rape trials, participation in legal arguments, evidence, development of legal arguments, evidence of case, disruption of ordinary practice of law, sexist language, questioning of sexist language, gentleman rapist
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