A New Conception of Wilful Blindness: The Supreme Court of Canada's Decision in R. v. Sansregret

Mark McElman


This paper will proceed in four parts. Part I will consist of a brief summary of current jurisprudence surrounding the doctrine of mens rea, focusing on the debate concerning whether the imposition of criminal liability requires a subjective or objective model of fault. Part II will present the basic epistemological ideals that will form the basis of subsequent analysis. Part III will bring into focus the epistemological elements of the offence of sexual assault. Part IV will demonstrate how a new doctrine of wilful blindness might be employed by the courts, in cases of sexual assault.

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