In this post, I will explain my project plan:
My inquiry question is: What are the problems faced by women when using the BWS Defence in Canadian Courts?
Round of research 1:
I will introduce the BWS defence and some basic concepts of law. I think this is necessary to make my further posts understandable. In addition, I will research about the history of the defence. Some of the questions I will answer will be:
- What is BWS?
- What is the BWS defence?
- How, when and why was it created?
Round of research 2:
In this round, I will research on the challenges faced in judgement of the defence. The main focus will be on the difficulties of interpreting BWS cases. I will analyse interpretations and procedures taken in legal cases involving battered women in Canada and the laws behind it.
I will base my research on these questions:
- How did the laws behind it change to adapt to the realities of battered women?
- How do the laws of self-defence difficult the use of the BWS defence?
- How does the rule of use “excessive force” applied in these cases?
- How does the relationship between the accused and the victim difficult the interpretation defences?
Round of research 3:
The focus of this last post on the battered women that choose to not use this defence. I will research on the main three problems that make women hesitant to use the defence.
The basic questions for it will be:
- Why do women plead guilty to lower charges instead of defending themselves?
- How does the “25 minimum sentence” increase the skepticism in use of the defence?
Here are five useful references for my research:
- Dawson, T. (2021, August 13). Why “battered woman syndrome” is not a straightforward defence for women who kill. Nationalpost. https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/killings
- Glancy, G., Heintzman, M., & Wheeler, A. (2019). Battered woman syndrome: Updating the expert checklist. International Journal of Risk and Recovery. https://doi.org/10.15173/ijrr.v2i2.3820
- Shaffer, M. (1990). R. v. Lavallee: A Review Essay. The Ottawa Law Review. https://canlii.ca/t/29hd
- Sheehy, E. A. (2013). Defending Battered Women on Trial: Lessons from the Transcripts (Law and Society) (3rd ed.). UBC Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/cls.2015.31
- The Canadian Press. (2021, May 3). Manslaughter conviction upheld for Alberta woman who said she acted in self-defence. Global News. https://globalnews.ca/news/7829959/morley-alberta-woman-manslaughter-abuse/
This project will allow Canadians to understand the problems or issues to be reviewed in our justice system. I hope it will encourage some to take action and demand change to improve them.