Expert Evidence on Coercive Control in Support of Self-Defence: The Trial of Teresa Craig

Criminology & Criminal Justice, First Published Date: September 20, 2017

Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2017-45

36 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2017 Last revised: 18 Oct 2017

See all articles by Elizabeth A. Sheehy

Elizabeth A. Sheehy

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Date Written: September 20, 2017

Abstract

This article uses the transcripts from an abused woman’s trial in Canada for first-degree murder of her husband to explore the expert testimony provided by Dr. Evan Stark to support a potential defence of self-defence. His evidence focused on coercive control theory and provoked extreme resistance from Crown prosecutors, such that self-defence was ultimately removed from the jury’s consideration. The trial illustrates the advantages and challenges of using coercive control theory as well as its future potential.

Keywords: Coercive Control; Battered Women; Self-Defence

Suggested Citation

Sheehy, Elizabeth A., Expert Evidence on Coercive Control in Support of Self-Defence: The Trial of Teresa Craig (September 20, 2017). Criminology & Criminal Justice, First Published Date: September 20, 2017; Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2017-45. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3047154 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3047154

Elizabeth A. Sheehy (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada

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