If passed, Bill 14, the Provincial Court Amendment Act, would reduce the risk of victims of sexual violence being revictimized during trials. It would also help ensure that all people who come into the courtroom are treated respectfully and fairly.

It would also foster public confidence in the administration of justice, encouraging more reporting of sexual assaults and potentially greater engagement in the justice system by Indigenous Peoples, minorities and vulnerable populations.

“Any modern justice system has a responsibility to make sure it keeps pace with the times. This includes bolstering an understanding of how sexual violence operates, how it affects victims, and how courtrooms can be a safer environment for victims. Bill 14, if passed, will help support and protect vulnerable Albertans.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“This training will support victims of sexual assault. Instead of being revictimized, we need to make sure victims are treated with respect and dignity in the pursuit of justice. Sexual assault law education for incoming judges will help do that by improving and building confidence in the justice system.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

“All Albertans deserve a justice system that is unbiased, effective, fair and respectful. Sexual assault law and social context issues education for provincial court candidates will help dispel discredited stereotypical thinking and provide candidates with the knowledge, awareness and skills to avoid being influenced by attitudes based on stereotypes or prejudice.”

Whitney Issik, Associate Minister of Status of Women

“One in three women in Canada have experienced sexual assault but only one in 10 will ever report it to the police because they say 'they have no faith in the courts.' Ensuring that lawyers who want to become judges take sexual assault law training helps build confidence in our justice system. Not only will this training ensure judges apply this complex area of criminal law fairly and without error, judges will understand how to manage their courtrooms to ensure the use of rape mythology, which is not allowed under the law, does not happen. Sexual assault survivors deserve to know that the judges who oversee their cases are fully educated in sexual assault law and aren’t going to make mistakes and cause long-lasting damage and further trauma. Let's hope this small, yet meaningful step, encourages more women to come forward and seek justice.”

Rona Ambrose, deputy chair, TD Securities, and former leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

Quick facts

  • The governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island require candidates to agree to take education in sexual assault law and social context issues to be eligible for judicial appointment.
  • Similar legislation is currently before Manitoba’s legislature.