Published In

Canadian Journal of Women and the Law

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Canada; Criminal Code; Consent; Social Problems; Public Law; Social Policy; Feminist Theory; Mental disabilities; Sexual assault; Civil commitment


This comment addresses the issue of whether a woman who is civilly committed in a psychiatric facility can ever give a valid consent to sexual activity with someone employed by that facility to ensure her safety and protection. The paper argues that such a consent would be involuntary and invalid because it was obtained as a result of an abuse of a position of trust. It is argued that the imbalance of power between a civilly committed psychiatric patient and, in Alsadi, a security guard employed by the hospital is so significant that no meaningful or voluntary consent can be given by the woman involved.

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Criminal Law Commons