Sexual Assault Cases at the Alberta Court of Appeal: The Roots of Ewanchuk and the Unfinished Revolution


  • Janine Benedet



This article surveys rape law reform efforts in Canadian criminal law by mapping these changes onto the decisions of the Alberta Court of Appeal. First, the article outlines how decisions in the 1970s and 1980s reflected ideas and assumptions about sexual offences. It then traces how these ideas were challenged in law reform efforts in 1983 and 1992. Next the article turns to the definition of non-consent and the Ewanchuk case, and how the reasons at the Court of Appeal reflect evolving attitudes to sexual assault. Finally, the article ends with reflections on sexual assault law following the Ewanchuk decision.