Ambrose criticizes Senate over stalled bill requiring sexual assault training for judges

“The bottom line is this is the old boys’ club protecting the old boys’ club.”

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Former federal cabinet minister Rona Ambrose introduced a bill requiring sexual-assault training for judges that passed unanimously in the House of Commons nearly two years ago. ADRIAN WYLD/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Former federal cabinet minister Rona Ambrose is criticizing the Senate for holding up her private member’s bill requiring sexual-assault law education for judges, nearly two years after it passed the House of Commons.

The former MP said she learned late last week that her appearance before the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs, which is studying the bill, was pushed back a fifth time. She was expecting to appear before committee on Wednesday and has not been given a new date.

“Once again, they have shown that sexual-assault survivors are not a priority,” she said. “I suspect they will go straight into other government business and use that as yet another delay tactic. … The bottom line is this is the old boys’ club protecting the old boys’ club.”

Ms. Ambrose’s Bill C-337, the Judicial Accountability Through Sexual Assault Law Training Act, would restrict eligibility for federal judicial appointments to those who have completed education in sexual-assault law and social context.

It would also require the Canadian Judicial Council to report on seminars in matters related to sexual-assault law and it amends the Criminal Code to require that reasons provided by a judge in sexual-assault decisions be entered in the record of the proceedings or be in writing. MORE

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