Calling for the appeal of Ontario's Intoxication defence ruling

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On Thursday, June 4, 2020, the Ontario court officially ruled that intoxication can be used as a defence for sexual assault and other violent crimes. This is in violation of the Criminal Code of Canada, section 33.1, which states: "It is not a defence to an offence referred to in subsection (3) that the accused, by reason of self-induced intoxication, lacked the general intent or the voluntariness required to commit the offence, where the accused departed markedly from the standard of care as described in subsection (2)." 

This ruling not only invites aggressive abusers to use drugs and alcohol as their grounds of defence, but also invalidates the experiences of past survivors of sexual assault. Inevitably, this will allow more abusers to roam free instead of serving their time for their crimes. Additionally, evidence shows men can tolerate more alcohol than women, putting them at a higher advantage. This ruling is an obstruction of justice and will surely result in increased cases of sexual assault and violence towards women and men alike.

Furthermore, this ruling does not compliment section 1 of the charter, which guarantees our rights and freedoms “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” Evidently, the Ontario court has now recognized extreme intoxication as grounds for sexual assault and violence. If extreme intoxication is not a limiting factor in accordance with section 1, it is clear the court is not acting in society's best interest.